By Theodore Epp
1 Kings 18:17-19
The monarch's first words were "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" (1 Kings 18:17). I am not sure how Ahab said that, but I have a feeling he was shaking in his boots.
He was standing before a man who had been in the presence of God. Though Ahab could say to his servants, "You do this and do that," and though he was surrounded by his bodyguards, I am sure he was awed in the presence of Elijah.
The king's accusation was false, and under such circumstances the normal reaction is for a person to justify himself. The Spirit-filled person, on the other hand, has surrendered all his rights and has no self to justify.
Elijah might have moderated the king's displeasure by telling him that rain was on the way, but that was not the message Ahab needed at that moment. The king and his people had to be humbled before God.
God's glory was at stake, and His honor had to be vindicated. Thus, Elijah's answer was fearless. He sought no favor from the king.
Even though Ahab's bodyguards were with him and would have slain Elijah at the king's command, the prophet minced no words. These soldiers held no terror for him.
The language he used is seldom heard in our day to rebuke leaders of nations who are doing wrong. "I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim" (v. 18).
"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (1 Tim. 6:17).