Old Testament Summary Lesson 28: “After The Fire A Still Small Voice”
- “Rain” and “Life” Expressed in Jewish Prayers: These prayers include a subtle, recurring inference to the Messiah. “. . . Among the manifestations of God’s power are His providing sustenance for all living creatures, His healing the sick, and His causing rain to fall. Stress is laid on the revival of the dead, and the benediction which concludes with Barukh mehayyeh ha-metim (“Blessed be… He Who revives the dead”) is therefore also known as Tehiyyat ha-Metim (“Resurrection of the Dead”). (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Rainfall in Jerusalem Equal to London’s: In Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the rainfall is equivalent to London, the capital of England, although Israel gets their rain all at once! An annual average of twenty-six inches of rain falls in Israel during the months of December, January and February (Utah gets about thirteen inches per year).
- Rain, Metaphor of Reward and Punishment: “. . . God rewards the righteous by granting them prosperity and well-being, and punishes the wicked with destruction. This forms the basis of the passage from Deuteronomy . . . adherence to God’s commandments will bring “the rain in its seasons”; disobedience will cause God “to shut up the heavens that there be no rain, and the land will not yield her fruit.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Sealing the Heavens: In response to the faithlessness of Israel, the “sealing” prophet, Elijah, sealed the heavens. Drought and losing crops was a result of disregarding the “still small voice” and thereby, losing their eternal families. “The prophets attacked idol worship not only on the grounds that it violates God’s covenant with Israel, but also because it was useless. While the pagans believed that the natural phenomena rain, fertility, health etc. were controlled by idols, the prophets taught that God is in control of nature.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Worthy Foreigners: In blessing the “foreign” widow, Elijah set up a lesson that Jesus would later use at Nazareth, in plain view of Mount Carmel, still known for Elijah’s “droughtful” response to Israel’s faithlessness. “. . . But unto none of them was Elias (Elijah) sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.” (Luke 4 25-26) In the Bible, another righteous widow, Ruth, cared for by a righteous Israelite, Boaz, produced the royal line of David, and ultimately the Savior, the Messiah. These are repeated lessons; “take care of the widows!”