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    by Dale Garris

    "And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all

    the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the

    Lord that was broken down." - 1 Kings 18:30

    Just a few years before this showdown on Mount Carmel, Israel

    had been lush with prosperity and wealth. King Ahab had led the

    Israelites on a path that led farther away from the old, established

    worship of God than any before him, and had brought them to a life

    of riches, prosperity, and licentiousness.

    The gods that he and his wife Jezebel had enticed the people of

    God with appealed to their earthly and fleshly desires. No longer

    did they have to be constricted with an old religion that demanded

    holiness and the fear of the Lord. No longer did they have to lead a

    life of separation from the things of the world that other, more

    prosperous nations enjoyed. They could enjoy the prosperity and

    fullness of riches without the constraints of a religion that had

    become outmoded and old-fashioned.

    Life was good. So when Elijah pronounced the judgments of God

    upon Israel, they laughed him out of the king's court. The true

    prophets of God had been eradicated from the public place and

    were no longer a thorn in the side of everyone who wanted the

    rewards of love, peace, and prosperity. You were no longer allowed

    to mention the name of Jehovah, much less pray to him in a public

    place. They now had priests and prophets of Baal that had

    replaced those old critical and judgmental men who had caused

    such consternation in the land.

    Elijah had stood as the one, lone voice who cried for a return to


    And who was this hairy old man? He didn't seem to be of any real

    consequence. He had no credentials, no theological bearing, and

    no consequential importance. Even his dress revealed his lack of

    social prominence and his irrelevance in such a modern,

    sophisticated time as this.

    Ahab's ears may have been deaf to Elijah's pronouncement, but

    when Elijah spoke, God listened.
    The Ahab's court may have

    derided him with laughter as he stood before the king, but 3 years

    later, no one was laughing.

    NOTE from Lou: I would say instead, when God spoke Elijah listened. No move of God starts with any man. But God inspires men to seek Him and pray to Him and speak for Him.

    We have followed a course similar to the one that Ahab had led

    Israel down. The Gospel we listen to is far different than the Gospel

    our grandfathers believed in. We decry the old brush arbor

    revivalists as hard, judgmental men who did not understand the

    love of God, and we have traded their message of repentance and

    holiness for one that is a kinder, gentler approach which promises

    love and peace and prosperity.

    But the love, peace, and prosperity that our modern prophets have

    promised us are but a worldly shadow of that which God offers us

    through a walk of righteousness in the fear of the Lord.

    We have been like the Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai - we

    feared and trembled at the presence of God when the mount shook

    with fire and smoke, but as soon as Moses departed up the

    mountain and we were left to our own devices, we made for

    ourselves a golden calf to worship in God's place.

    I have said for 7 years now that something is coming to America

    that will be far worse than 9/11, but I never knew what form that

    judgment would take. Would it be a dirty nuclear explosion in one

    of our cities, or an epidemic, or some natural disaster? We would

    be hurt, but it wouldn't take long to go back to our old ways. We

    are the great and mighty America, and we have an innate belief

    that we will always bounce back and dominate.

    What if it wasn't any of those imagined disasters, but something

    that struck right to the heart of that which we cherish the most?

    What if we lost our prosperity and wealth? And what if it

    consumed every level of our society and every part of our country?

    We are living in that time of drought when the ravens fed Elijah by

    the brook Cherith, right after he fled the king's court.

    We look to our televangelists who promise us blessings, and

    refuse to consider that our lust for those promises is what has led

    us to this drought in the first place. But we still flip on the TV and

    hope for a word of encouragement that will convince us to hang on

    to a Gospel that has a form of godliness, but denies the power

    thereof. And of course, they tell us exactly what we want to hear,

    along with an encouragement to send them your money so that

    God can release His blessings all over you - but never a word of

    reproof or repentance.

    The job of a prophet is not to tell you how beloved you are, how

    many blessings God wants to bestow upon you, or how much love

    is in your church. The job of a prophet is to rebuild the old broken

    down altars of God and declare unto the people of God their sins

    and transgressions so that they may come to a place of

    repentance and, once again, return to the true God of Israel.

    "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and

    have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and

    miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked... As many as I love,

    I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." - Rev 3:17-19