God sends His prophet with a call to repentance before He sends His judgment. His people need to hear His word first and foremost. This prophet has come to call the people back to the faith of Abraham, back to God’s covenant with Israel made through Moses. The drought mirrors the state of God’s people and is His first word to them.
“Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the LORD, ‘O LORD my God, let this child’s life come into him again.'”
Elijah stretches himself out on the child three times and cries to the Lord – Save the boy!
And the Lord listens to Elijah. The boy’s life is saved, returned, come into him again.
It is possible that Elijah was, in the three times, honoring each person of the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
And this is important, something to dwell on, as we wrestle with our own prayer lives.
What might it mean for how we speak with God, particularly when we are crying out Him in pain or loss or for the saving of someone.
There are a lot of “three times” in God’s word. A few are,
Three times Balaam tries to curse Israel but instead blesses them (Numbers 24).
Three times Jesus goes and prays in the garden (Matthew 26).
Three times Peter denies his Saviour (Matthew 26).
Three times Pilot asks the crowd what Jesus has done to deserve death (Luk 23).
Three times after Jesus defeats death and comes back to life He asks Peter “Do you love me?” – Bringing Peter back into the fold.
God answered Elijah’s prayer, listening to his voice.
We can be encouraged that God does listen! He does answer prayer! And He loves us so much as to bring us as enemies into His family, rebel sheep brought back into the fold.
Praise God for the good Shepherd!
* God Almighty, Creator and Sustainer,
Thank You that You are the Good Shepherd!
You have brought us back into the fold, You care for us and watch over us.
Thank You that You are the Good Physician!
As You healed the boy of his illness, bringing life back into him, so You heal our dead hearts, breathing new life into us!
Thank You Lord!