Led by the Spirit
1 Kings 18:12 “And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where.”
The story of Elijah’s life could accurately be summed up as Duncan Campbell puts it as “ God’s hand upon a man”. God is intimately involved In every encounter we read of in his life, and Elijah’s every move and word seem to be directed by God’s direct revelation to him. The work of God through Elijah leads others to confess as the widow of Zarephath “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” (1 Kings 17:24 ESV).
Elijah’s life shows the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit in so many ways . God speaks through His Spirit to Elijah in several places (1 Kings 17:1- 17:8/ 18:1 , 19:9, 21:17) Elijah speaks as the Spirit gives him utterance , 17:1, 17:14,18:15 for example. And Obadiah’s confession here seems to be but an acknowledgement of the fact that supernaturally God is animating and empowering His prophet for His service. The theologian Gordon Fee describes the holy Spirit as ‘God’s empowering presence ‘ in his well known book of that name.
It is certainly the case that the Holy Spirit is as active in the Old Testament as in the New , and Elijah’s life bears witness to this from beginning to end. Obadiah confesses that the Spirit of the Lord will carry Elijah , and he knows not where. We see more than a little exasperation as well as fear in Obadiah , he seems to say he doesn’t know where Elijah will pop up next! But as the Spirit leads Him so Elijah goes, we read of the hand of the Lord upon Elijah in verse 46 of this chapter, and the Spirit empowers him to overtake the king’s fine chariot and horses and reach Jezebel before Ahab.
The on-going story of Elijah shows us that although Elijah was as human as we are ( James 5:17), and as prone to human failing and doubt as the best of us ( 1 Kings 19) , his life shows us how God the Holy Spirit can equip and empower weak human vessels too God’s glory.