The Biblical Reason for Elijah's Drought--Part 1
May 29, 2009
In 1 Kings 17:1 Elijah suddenly appears in the biblical narrative and pronounces judgment upon Israel. He says, "As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years except by my word."
Most Christians recognize this as a pronouncement of divine judgment for Israel's rebellion against God. But what specifically is it that brought on this 3 1/2 year drought? Take note that this pronouncement took place immediately after Jericho had been rebuilt, because the previous verse (16:34) says,
"In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho; he laid its foundations with the loss of Abiram his first-born, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by Joshua the son of Nun." [Note the prophecy in Joshua 6:26]
We are now seeing the prophetic parallel in our own time, with the beginning of the Moses-Elijah (or Joshua-Elisha) ministry. Whereas Joshua crossed the Jordan on dry ground and destroyed Jericho, Elisha crossed the Jordan on dry ground and healed Jericho. But now we see the link between the rebuilding of Jericho and Elijah's drought. What is this about?
My first question is: Why the drought? What would God withhold the rain? How does this prophesy apply in our own time, and how does the judgment fit the crime?
The former and latter rain speaks of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:23, 28, 29; Acts 2:17). A major component of rain is water (Aha!), which is symbolic of the Word. The connection is in the fact that the purpose of Pentecost is to hear God's voice (word), and the same is true with Tabernacles. Without the word, the baptism of the Spirit lacks substance.
We learn from Amos 8:11, 12,
" (11) Behold, days are coming, declares the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord. (12) And people will stagger from sea to [shining] sea, and from the north even to the east; they will go to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, but they will not find it."
The "famine" of Elijah, then, is not a literal famine in its modern fulfillment, but rather a famine "for hearing the words of the Lord." That is the famine which has been pronounced upon us today. It has been a long-term famine during the Babylonian captivity of the Laodicean Church (since 1914). It is now coming to an end, as God reveals His word and commissions the Elisha company to deliver it to the world.
When people or nations "exchanged the truth of God for a lie" (Rom. 1:25), God gave them over to their own "degrading passions" (NASB, vs. 26). Likewise, when men refuse to hear the Word, God blinds them and makes them deaf so that they cannot hear or see. I have learned by my own hard experience that when we reject the Word of the Lord, we become blind and deaf in that particular area, and it is difficult to turn it around.
The people of Israel refused to hear the word of the Lord through the prophets, so God withheld His word (rain). In fact, He sent Elijah to a foreign land so that there would be no possibility of the Israelites hearing the word from him. The time of judgment was 3 years (probably after spending the first 6 months at the brook Cherith).
The modern drought of the word came with the captivity to Mystery Babylon in 1914 with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. This came just a few years after the reestablishment of Pentecost (1900-1905). In a way, this Pentecost was designed to keep us going throughout the years of captivity. In another sense, the denominalization of Pentecost in 1910 was the reaffirmation of the problem of King Saul, where men desired a man to rule over them, rejecting the direct rule of Christ (1 Sam. 8:7).
Either way, we came into captivity, and the long drought of the word began. The problem is not that the world and the enemies of Christ did it to us. God does not hold them accountable any more than He held Nebuchadnezzar accountable for conquering Jerusalem. Far from it. In fact, God claims to have hired Nebuchadnezzar as His servant to bring judgment upon Jerusalem (Jer. 27:6-8).
No, God holds the believers accountable, because the day of Pentecost was the day God crowned "Saul" and gave them authority in the earth. If the Saul-Church had ruled according to Samuel's instructions in 1 Sam. 12:20-25, they could have made it work. It was God's will that they succeed; it was, however, the divine plan that they fail, because righteousness cannot be established in Pentecost, but in Tabernacles.
The point is that there was ANOTHER FAMINE in ancient times which overlays prophetically on the famine in Elijah's day. This other famine is mentioned in 2 Samuel 21. Though it occurred in the reign of David, its cause was something Saul had done many years earlier. Verse 1 says,
"Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the Lord. And the Lord said, 'It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death'."
Joshua had made a covenant (treaty) with the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:15). Many years later, Saul did not respect that treaty "to let them live," but instead he persecuted them and put some of them to death. God takes broken treaties seriously. He sent a 3-year drought upon Israel, even in the time of David, because He does not forget this sort of thing. Eventually, sin catches up to us.
America has done the same thing with about 350 treaties with the Native Americans. There is hardly a treaty that our government has ever kept with them, even though in those days the vast majority of the population considered itself to be pious and sincere Christians. Broken treaties appeared to be "in our best interest," and Christians benefited by every broken treaty because it gave them more land. There was no groundswell of Christian indignation to force the government to keep its word. Instead, the majority supported this sin.
And so our leaders spoke with a forked tongue, and this is probably the main reason for the drought of hearing the Word--even as it was in 1 Samuel 21.
There is, however, a growing number of Christians today who (as individuals or churches) are making apology for past sins. Likewise, last October we received revelation about reversing the Trail of Tears, and some drove and prayed from Oklahoma to Sweetwater, TN, where the headquarters for the Trail of Tears was located. The Trail of Tears was a particularly horrendous result of the forcible removal of the Indian tribes to Oklahoma in the 1830's, so that the white tribes could settle that land.
Anyway, it is part of our ministry to "reverse the curse." This is a big part of removing the curses from the land in order that we might see the end of the drought of hearing the word. 1 Samuel 21 shows us that the house of Saul did not do anything to resolve the problem. It was done in the reign of David. I believe this prophesies that this problem could not be resolved during the Age of Pentecost (33-1993). But we are now in the time of the reign of David (the overcomers), who have been given the authority to reverse this curse.
This is the first part of a series titled "The Biblical Reason for Elijah's Drought." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones