Who is Elijah?

Jesus said, “If you can see it, Elijah has come.” When he was talking to his disciples about why the Pharisees said that Elijah must come before the Christ. The author of the account then credits John the Baptist as being Elijah. Maybe the mistake is that John contained the Elijah, but wasn’t the Elijah?

Many have run with this and gone on to explain Elijah as an office, the Elijah. What if that’s not true. Or, if true (as I say, contained the Elijah), not really the point. It’s certain John had something to do with the story of Elijah, but was he the Elijah? He said he wasn’t. Maybe he was telling the truth!

Take a step back, and look at I Kings. Elijah is introduced to us when he goes up to Ahab, king of Israel, and tells him it won’t rain for the next several years, except at his command. Then Elijah goes to a brook east of the Jordan, where he is fed by ravens and drinks from the brook. When the brook dries up he goes to a woman and asks for bread and water. She can give him water, but she doesn’t have any bread. All she has is some flour and a little olive oil, which she is about to mix up for bread and eat with her son, “so that they may die.”

Elijah says to her,”Make that up and give me some first. Your flour and oil will not run out until the day it rains.”

Later, the woman’s son dies. Elijah lays down on top of him three times, then he cries out to God to raise him.

The next thing we know it is suddenly the third year, and Elijah has been told to go to Ahab and confront him with a challenge. All of Ahab’s false prophets against Elijah at Mount Carmel. You would think, by how things transpired, that Mount Carmel came pretty quickly after the boy was raised up. Maybe the point is that it didn’t come quickly after that? Maybe the point is that at least two years went by after that, putting us into the third year since the drought began, half of the first year taken up at the brook.

Take a second and compare Elijah with what God was doing over time. There was some time that went by between the last book of the Old Testament until the time of Christ. Could this have been what Elijah’s time by the brook with the ravens was all about? Was the widow he went to live with Israel, and her child Jesus? Was Elijah not John the Baptist, but the Spirit that descended upon Jesus like a dove when John baptized him?

Is Elijah, Yahweh is my God, not living today with the woman still, as well as with her son, until the time of the rain? Isn’t Elijah the Holy Spirit!


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