Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 19:1–20:25, Mark 11:1–33, Prov 4:18–27
Today’s Theme: The Humble King
Jesus shows us God’s heart as the humble king. He fulfils prophecy and teaches us about the sovereign majesty and benevolent love of God at the same time. Even as He throws the merchants out of God’s house He is teaching.
We see the same gentle majesty in God as he deals with Elijah’s depression.
We should also know who we are, walking in that authority but with humility and gentleness at the same time as we live lives of love, prayer and faith in God.
1 Kings 19:1–20:25
God cares about your physical life
And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” (1 Kings 19:5, ESV)
Elijah had allowed himself to be scared by the words of Jezebel and was so worn out by his stand for the Lord that he has gone into depression. Notice God deals with it by first telling him to eat.
God does not just take care of our spiritual needs but all our needs. The life of the spirit, soul and body are inextricably linked and one simply will have an effect on the other.
The soul’s emotional state of depression will have an effect on appetite and sleep which in turn break down the bodies defences making the victim weak and leading to deeper, sustained depression. One of the first remedies to take care of a wounded soul is to strengthen the body through good food and rest.
And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God. (1 Kings 19:8, ESV)
That had to be supernatural physical food. We give God thanks for the supernatural, sustaining food of His word.
A gentle voice
And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. (1 Kings 19:12, ESV)
This is special, God could have revealed himself in a magnificent way but He is a loving father and knows what we need. If the voice of God thundered from the heavens it may have been too much for Elijah.
If God can speak in a gentle voice then so should we especially when dealing with someone’s depression.
Where are you
He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” (1 Kings 19:14, ESV)
This was true. Notice the way God asked him this question twice, maybe the Lord was looking for a different answer from him the second time. Also a good way to deal with someone who is depressed is to ask them about where they are.
Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18, ESV)
God is not disagreeing with Elijah, He is saying that after all the slaying from the new kings and prophet that God will yet keep a remnant for Himself.
Don’t be a weak man
And the king of Israel answered, “As you say, my lord, O king, I am yours, and all that I have.” (1 Kings 20:4, ESV)
Disgusting, men should not capitulate like this. We should fear God, not man.
And Ahab said, “By whom?” He said, “Thus says the Lord, By the servants of the governors of the districts.” Then he said, “Who shall begin the battle?” He answered, “You.” (1 Kings 20:14, ESV)
Ahab had no relationship with God so it was right for him to ask how this would be done so he could follow the Lord’s instructions. If this wicked king could ask questions, so should we.
Then the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, “Come, strengthen yourself, and consider well what you have to do, for in the spring the king of Syria will come up against you.” (1 Kings 20:22, ESV)
Always count the cost of your actions, think about what you will do and plan ahead.
Jesus the humble King
And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. (Mark 11:8, ESV)
This was a clear indication that Jesus was the promised Messiah / King. In the Ancient Near East the laying of clothes in the street for a person or the beast they travel on was a sign of political allegiance and worship.
Jesus enters Jerusalem as the true king of Israel and the people welcome Him as the long awaited Son of David. This was the fulfilment of Zechariah 9:9.
We must remember that the people were only focused on one side of the Messiah’s mission, which was as king, they did not recognise the suffering servant side of the Messiah and certainly did not understand His coming as being in two parts.
And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! (Mark 11:9, ESV)
“Hosanna” is Hebrew for “Save now!” The people were crying out for Jesus to save them from the tyrany of Rome but He did far better, He saved them from the penalty of their sins through His atoning death on the cross.
We can cry out Hosanna to God today and He will save us as we honour Him as king.
And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. (Mark 11:13, ESV)
We should have fruit in good times and bad that God may be pleased.
And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:17, ESV)
Never noticed this before, in the middle of this exercise of authority Jesus is teaching them a lesson, more evidence that this was not done in rage
The purpose of the temple in Jerusalem, also shows us that prayer should be a part of our life as a church.
This episode also exposes the folly of the prosperity gospel.
Have faith in God
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. (Mark 11:22, ESV)
The call of the Christian life is summarised here, we must have faith in God!
Believe in God not words
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. (Mark 11:23, ESV)
We are believing that our prayers will be answered not that we create things and make things happen. Notice Jesus began by Saying “Have faith in God” not in the power of words as the new age teach (this teaching has even infiltrated the church).
Pray in faith
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24, ESV)
When we pray we should do so in faith, we must believe to receive.
Pray with a clean heart
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25, ESV)
This puts the caveat that we must pray with the right heart.
Wicked hearts revealed
So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:33, ESV)
Jesus gave them an opportunity to accept the truth concerning John and Himself but their wicked hearts were revealed and they remained hard and unrepentant.
Lord help me to answer with wisdom like You.
The path of the righteous
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. (Proverbs 4:18, ESV)
The Jehovahs Witnesses use this verse out of context to explain away their false prophecies.
The true interpretation is that as we walk in righteousness we will grow in the grace and truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, it does not mean truth changes but that we grow in and receive more of it.
If I got saved today I would only know so much, a year later I would know a lot more.
Meditate on the bible
Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. (Proverbs 4:21, ESV)
It is important to meditate (think over, think deeply, recite, dwell on) on the word.
What do you cherish
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23, ESV)
This is an important warning, Jesus taught us that a man’s actions come out of his heart, so we must be careful what we meditate on and cherish.
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. (Proverbs 4:26, ESV)
We must consider where we go and what we do.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Mark 11