A Little Cheesecake Would Have Been Nice (Kings 17-18)

Kings 17 begins to follow a person named Elijah during a period when God has stopped the rain from falling. God commands Elijah to head east without much of a plan or even an inept GAP tour leader to follow (oh, Mirko… you tried). He stumbles upon the house of a widow and asks for a morsel of bread. Unfortunately, the widow has only a handful of meal in a jar and some other crap to offer guests. This surprised me because widows, in my experience, always have the best snacks. The kind that you never buy for yourself. Like Sara Lee layer cake with pink frosting that comes in that compact, rectangular box. Or those shortbread cookies with the chocolate on top that are usually in the middle of an assorted biscuit tin. Fond, fond memories.

Elijah isn’t dismayed by the poor spread and performs a showy little miracle: “The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth,” he proclaims (Kin 17:16). Goody. Enough dry meal for everyone! Crispers would have been better. Still, that was nice of Elijah. He also does this cool thing where he brings the widow’s dead son back to life. All in all, he’s not a bad houseguest.

God is pleased that Elijah followed his commands and he sends rain again. Continuing the brown-nosing, Elijah decides to put the wayward Israelites to a test. See, they’ve been worshipping Baal for some time. So he says to them, “Okay, guys. Let’s sacrifice two bulls: one to the true God and the other to Baal. Call upon Baal and see if he answers you”. They do and he doesn’t. Total egg on their faces. So what do they do? What anyone would do to cope in a moment of intense embarassment: start stabbing themselves with swords and bleeding all over the place. “And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them” (Kin 18:28). I did the same thing when I got my first period in social studies. So that no one would notice I was bleeding, of course.

 

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Published in: on July 6, 2011 at 2:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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