Elijah, the prophet, stood alone before Ahab, the king of Israel. Ahab was not high on God's "This is how you should rule Israel" list. In fact, "Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him" (1st Kings 16:33).
Because of Ahab's sin, God was going to turn the water sprinklers off. Israel was about to see clear skies. No rain. No sprinkle. Not even a light mist. Hebrew forecasters would soon forget how to say "precipitation."
Elijah had the privilege of telling the wicked king about God's "No Repentance, No Rain" policy. Elijah was a Tishbite from Gilead. Mean anything to you? Basically, Elijah was a renegade preacher from the back woods of a foreign country. He was no dignitary. Not a politician. Like today's politicians, he knew nothing of foreign relations. He just knew that God set him on Ahab's front porch, told him to ring the doorbell, deliver a message, and run!
Why Elijah? We're not sure. Other than the fact that Elijah was close enough to God to hear Him speak. Apparently, Israel wasn't. God will do that sometimes. He will use an available witness to confront a wayward soul just to get His message across.
Elijah's name and his story begin and end with God. "El" means "God" and "jah" means "Lord." All that's left to his name is "i." Add a little English to a lot of Hebrew and you could translate Elijah's name this way: God(me)Lord. A lot of God at the front and back...and a little bit of me in the middle. That's the way it should be for all of us.
Even in his name, El-i-jah was surrounded by God.
Zoom in on this one scene and you'll see a fiery, rugged, rawboned country preacher facing a rotund, posh, self-absorbed king. Elijah walked into six decades of immorality, idolatry, rebellion, and violence and pronounced a multi-year drought.
It was not a good time to invest in an umbrella company because Elijah was right. The drought came. The land of Israel suffered an unprecedented string of days, weeks, months, and years without a single drop of rain.
God provided for Elijah's food, water, and shelter. When the time was right, God sent Elijah out again to stand before a thinner, thirstier shadow of a king. When the smoke and dust settled, Elijah, the lone prophet of God prevailed over hundreds of Ahab's false prophets.
We live in a day and in a land where immorality and ungodliness surround us. We are called upon to sometimes stand alone against the evil that everyone else ignores or accepts. When we do, we are never really alone. God looks for special people in difficult times to stand for truth and righteousness.
God probably wants to use you to lead others through difficult times. You can be someone's El-i-jah. In fact, go ahead and put your name between the "El" and the "jah" --- El________jah.
Surrender to the God who wants to surround you and let Him use you. All it takes is a lot of Him and a little bit of you.