Elijah – entering the crucible!

Reading: 1 Kings chapter 17 verses 8-24
Many of you may remember the practical experiments in Chemistry lessons at school, which involved the use of a CRUCIBLE. The dictionary says, ‘a crucible is a vessel in which metals or other substances can be melted or heated up to very high temperatures. The word is often used to refer to a situation in which someone faces a severe trial, which brings about a change in them’.

This definition provides us with a useful illustration of the Christian life. If anyone tells you that living for God is an easy pathway, they are misleading you. Likening it to being in a crucible would be much closer to the reality! The prophet, Elijah would testify to this. Shortly after God called him, He sent him to ZAREPHATH, which means ‘to melt and refine’, 1 Kings chapter 17 verse 9; as a noun it means, ‘CRUCIBLE’. Elijah certainly felt ‘the heat’ of testing there.

Reading through the record of Elijah’s experience at Zarephath, teaches us what to expect, when we enter the crucible of testing on the Christian pathway. If you have time, it would be helpful to read James chapter 1 in the New Testament, which also takes us into the crucible of the Christian life. You will discover that is not an option but a ‘must’ for all those who wish to become a man or woman of God; however, you will be under the care and control of God throughout. It has been said of Elijah that a raw young man went into the crucible but a mature man of God came out of it! The widow he met said, ‘Now by this I know that you are a man of God’, 1 Kings 17 verse 24. James writes in the New Testament. ‘Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life’, James chapter 1 verse 12.

Have you trusted Christ as your Saviour? God does not promise an easy life but it will end with great rewards!