Famine – Scripture Dissection

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
Famine - Scripture Dissection

Well, it’s time! The last two Scripture dissections, God’s Timing and God’s Humor, we left something completely unresolved. The famine! And really – that’s an important development. We built up to it, showing how people suffered intolerably for three years. Now, Elijah introduces he’s back! And then introduces it’s God’s timing to end the famine. So, here is the amazing story – with a couple of twists and some teaching points.

Tear Into It – The Famine

First, I suggest – take a look at Tear Into It. That article explains how and why we introduce Scripture dissection exercises every few weeks in our article rotation.

To tear into “Famine,” let’s continue the story from 1 Kings 18.

FYI – Part 1 – God’s Timing and Part 2 – God’s Humor set the stage for today. So, you might want to take a look.

Look up 1 Kings 18:41-46 in your Bible for a full story. For this content’s purposes, here’s a bullet backstory of developments in my words.

1 Kings 18:41-46

  • Elijah tells Ahab – “You better get something to eat and drink quickly. Rain is in the air.” This is year three of famine.
  • So Ahab grabs lunch.
  • But instead of grabbing lunch, Elijah climbs Mt. Carmel and goes to prayer! God still hasn’t told him details of how He will end the famine.
  • After praying, Elijah tells his servant to look over the sea and report back.
  • His servant says – “Nothing is there.”
  • Incidentally, Elijah tells his servant to do this seven times!
  • The seventh time the servant reports, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” (v.44)
  • With no further details, Elijah rises in faith and tells his servant to go quickly to tell Ahab to hitch his chariot and get to a safe place before the rain comes.
  • The drama escalates immediately (vs. 45) – “Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.” In other words, God’s timing for the end of famine is RIGHT NOW! (Ready or not.)
  • Amazingly . . . “The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel. (v. 46).


Now Let’s Dissect – Famine

With each Scripture dissection, we engage four focuses:

  1. What Does It Say?
  2. What Does It Mean?
  3. Make It Personal
  4. Make A Commitment.


1. What Does It Say?

When Elijah tells his servant to tell Ahab to hitch his chariot, grab lunch, and ride hard for safety, what he’s really saying is –

Ready or not – God is ending the famine RIGHT NOW!

Keep in mind, Ahab tried to hunt down and kill Elijah for three years because Elijah had predicted the famine. And now – he’s obeying Elijah’s every command.

Elijah’s servant was sent to check the skies seven times. Incidentally, a very small cloud escalates into a lot of power!

Elijah must have been in great physical condition. God’s power comes upon him and, without lunch, he outruns Ahab’s horses and chariot to Jezreel.

God’s timing to end three years of famine is RIGHT NOW! And He gives His message through Elijah.

2. What Does It Mean?

This passage strongly reinforces God has His own perfect timing to global events. In fact, He has incredible ability to superintend all history – plus every individual life. Each person’s “free will” does not impinge His perfect will. Though this world is broken, God is still in control. However, He is patient with mankind and honors the gift of free will He gave each person.

God also has a front seat in affairs of nations, communities, and individuals – including you. He wants to give you the daily heads-up you need.

Incidentally, when Elijah climbs Mt. Carmel to pray, it’s a deeply reverent prayer. He bends to the ground and puts his face between his knees. In other words, Elijah is showing respect and paying homage to God. This great prophet is great because he is also humble.

Remember – Elijah still doesn’t know exactly how or when God will answer his prayer. He just asks worships – then waits.

When God’s answer comes, Elijah has already prepared to “kick it into gear” and dovetail with God ‘s timing! In other words, Elijah truly partnered with God.

Since seven is God’s number, symbolizing perfection, God draws attention to something interesting. It’s a “listen-up” to showcase His credibility to Elijah, who simply asks worships – then waits as his servant checks the skies seven times.

In conclusion, “What Does It Mean” takes these ideas to heart and makes them personal: Humility, asking, worship, waiting, being prepared to jump in.

3. Make It Personal

An effective way to live each day is with perspective that goes beyond what you can currently see or do. And perspective that matches God’s requires faith.

Why should your perspective match God’s? Well, Scripture says, “Just as the heavens are above the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:9)

Subsequently, the logical conclusion is – by thinking increasingly more like God, you think into the realm God already knows all about. It’s “faith-thinking.”

Here are some helpful action steps to faith-think more like God:

  1. Lean into Him intentionally every day. Choose Him as your First – Best – Most.
  2. Get into His Word, and get His Word into you.
  3. Talk with God (pray) . . . about everything. Ask for help, for wisdom, for guidance.
  4. Listen intently as God trains you in righteousness. Choose an alert, ready position to receive.
  5. Obey God to the detail in every issue. This means dying to self agendas and living for Jesus. 
  6. Rest in God as you wait. Resting In God connects you strongly to His love and gracious heart.
  7. Worship. Because His ways and thoughts are higher, and He is worthy.


Faith-Think KEY

BTW – a fascinating principle from Mt. 10:39 says, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for My sake will find it.” Incidentally, this is both a guarantee from Jesus and a launch platform to live life to your fullest purpose in His design. You don’t have to linger in famine. God wants to end your personal famine and bring you to a place of plenty – in Jesus Christ.

If you’re in a personal famine of soul, let God end your famine and draw you close to Himself. Your portion? Take up God’s perspective about all things and live an Alive and Active Life by “faith-thinking.”

Additional Make-It-Personal Tips

Consider humility with me. God commands His children to humble themselves and trust Him to lift them up at the right time. (Jas. 4:10) That’s how Elijah lived.

Some additional thoughts about worship – the oldest of God’s commands. God knows He’s the best thing for you. And when you agree with Him on that, you open a portal to His interventions, blessings, goodness, power, and friendship. God dearly loves you. Elijah knew how to worship sincerely from his heart.

What about preparing for God’s timing? The best way to prepare is to continually be “faith-thinking” in everything you think, say, and do. Learn to think outside the box and prepare creative, insightful ways for action – even ahead of time. Then, when it’s God’s timing – get-going. Dovetail with God’s initiative. Elijah also did that.

Like breathing, it’s essential to pray during the course of your activities. This connects you with –

  • a dear Friend who loves you
  • an all-wise Counselor ready to guide you
  • the God who knows how to envelope your prepared, “faith-thinking” heart.


Elijah did this continually – and maybe that’s why God did miracles through him.

As you wait on God’s timing, are you patient and confident? Apparently, Elijah was quite good at this.

Reflect over this section and ask yourself – “How many of those tips am I actively doing each day?”

4. Make A Commitment – Application Thoughts and Questions

Knowing something and doing something are quite different. What good is it to know about these things, but not carry them out? Jas. 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Subsequently, knowing you have a personal famine and doing something about it are also two very different things. It’s in your best interests to include action in your pursuit for relationship with God. Go after Him! In fact, that proves your passion for the Lord is sincere. Action is an altar.

So, ask yourself what areas of your life are in famine. Do you believe God wants to provide for you? If so, remember action steps to dovetail with God’s intervention initiatives:

  1. Are you leaning into Jesus?
  2. Do you take in His Word daily?
  3. Are you sharing life with Him in prayer?
  4. How are your “listen-to-God” skills?
  5. Do you obey immediately when God presses His direction into your heart – and says, “It’s time now”?
  6. What about resting in Christ – are you?
  7. Do you worship as you wait for God’s timing?


Action is an altar.


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