Elijah is one of the great leaders of the Bible. There is no question that His leadership was respected for many generations. His position in history is one of extreme significance. But what made him a great leader?
(1) Elijah Was Dedicated To God - The great mount Carmel event is one of the greatest in Israel’s history. At that time Ahab was the king of Israel (I Kings 16:29-34). He was married to Jezebel, arguably the most wicked woman to date. Jezebel allowed 850 prophets of Baal and other gods to eat at her table. Ahab and Jezebel supported idolatry and forced it on God’s people. She had all of the prophets of God killed. There should be no doubt that this one of the lowest points of God’s people. Elijah comes onto the scene with boldness. Its not ironic that his name means “Jehovah is my God.” He was a rough man according to II Kings 1:8, but he was in great physical condition. He was a bold leader and a great prophet and dedicated to God and His law. A good leader knows what is right and does it no matter what. A good leader, like Elijah, will stand up before his challengers.
(2) Elijah Was Not Afraid of a Challenge - This story is filled with challenges. Elijah challenged Ahab (I Kings 16:29-17:1, 18:18), Israel (I Kings 18:19-24), and he challenged Baal (I Kings 18:25-40). His challenge really does not stop there because he challenges each one of us too. Good leaders know that the people need a challenge. They need to be tested and tried. Good leaders will make sure that the people of God are on His side.
(3) Elijah Was Not Afraid To Stand Alone - Later in the story Elijah gets discourage, but right now he is ready to take on the world. When you look at this story you know that Elijah was ready to battle the enemy. Remember that the prophets of Baal started the show. They called on their god for hours, wept, cut themselves, and nothing happened. I suppose one of the best parts of this story, for me, is the taunting of Elijah. Their god would not respond no matter what they did. Then, after they were tired and evening was coming God brought revival through fire! Elijah prayed and God sent fire from heaven to consume all of the sacrifice he had offered. Wow! Good leaders know that God will come through and that He will never fail us.
(4) Elijah Was Faithful - Through all of the years, the ups and downs, and through all of the difficulties he faced, Elijah stayed faithful to God. If you remember the Bible reveals that he was taken into heaven by a whirlwind. Good leaders know that if they are faithful that God will reward them. There is no reason to give up or get discouraged because God is with us always!
Over the past few weeks we have noted the need for Christian male spiritual leadership. I have pointed out the significance of “The Lawgiver, The King, and The Prophet.” Are you ready to be a leader like them? Are you ready to do what God desires? Let God use you to His glory!
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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Ray Reynolds is the pulpit minister of the Summerdale Church of Christ in Summerdale, AL and director of TITUS Camp in Florence, AL. He and his wife Misty (Till) have five sons, one grandson, and one Golden Doodle. They work with the Summerdale church family and connect with people around the world through www.rayreynoldsrap.com and www.reclaiminghopeministry.com. He holds a BA and MM from Heritage Christian University and earned a Ph.D. in Pastoral Ministry from Trinity Theological Seminary, but has continued his studies through Cambridge, Groningen University, and Harvard Divinity School. He loves coffee, blueberry cake donuts, carpentry, podcasting, blogging, creating online social media content, and marketing for non-profit ministries in the churches of Christ.