Elijah’s on the run.


Elijah is on the run again.1 Kgs 17:7-16 Ahab attacks with a vengeance driving the prophet further from his home. Tired, he stumbles upon the hut of a woman and her son. Hungry from his journey, he asks her for a cup of water and some bread. Short on food, she at first refuses. Elijah convinces her to comply with his request.

She answered, “As the LORD, your God, lives,
I have nothing baked;
there is only a handful of flour in my jar
and a little oil in my jug.
Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks,
to go in and prepare something for myself and my son;
when we have eaten it, we shall die.”

Read her refusal carefully, in particular one phrase. “As the LORD your God Lives.” Your God, Elijah’s God and not hers. Elijah has wandered far from his land, yet “His God” still travels with him. That God is not constrained by borders. As I think of Elijah wandering throughout the areas surrounding Ahab’s kingdom to escape his wrath, I think of the Son of God traveling to the same periphery trying to bring the lost sheep back. Many of those lost were victims of Kings such as Ahab. The thing though is that Jesus did not care to bring those souls back to the borders of the Jewish Kingdom of Judea. That border did no constrain God, the LORD reached people wherever they be. God resided within them.

In Elijah’s adventure he told the woman of Gods promise, and she accepted that word on faith. She prepared the bread, and ran out of neither flour, nor oil. Jesus calls his disciples the salt of the earth and tells them not to lose that quality.Mt 5:13-16 He calls them to be the light of the world, a guiding light for the nations. They were to be known by their actions, and not by their nationality. Their God was with them, wherever they might reside. The only thing that could distance themselves from their God was their actions, their sins, and should they stumble theirs was a forgiving God. In fact, being the salt of the earth was an entry into a new covenant relationship, a salt covenant* was indeed a form of covenant at that era. What might the words of that new covenant be, what might make those fledgling disciples the salt of the earth? I can take a guess. Love the Lord with your whole heart, wherever you might be; and do unto others as I (Jesus) have done for you. Covenants need not be wordy or complex.

*The salt of the covenant with your God: partaking of salt in common was an ancient symbol of friendship and alliance.

You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not let the salt of the covenant with your God* be lacking from your grain offering. On every offering you shall offer salt. (Leviticus 2:13).

As a perpetual due I assign to you and to your sons and daughters with you all the contributions of holy things which the Israelites set aside for the LORD; this is a covenant of salt* to last forever before the LORD, for you and for your descendants with you. .(Numbers 18:19)

Do you not know that the LORD, the God of Israel, has given David kingship over Israel forever, to him and to his sons, by a covenant of salt?(2Chronicles 13:5)

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