By George Cavaness
II Chron. 7:14
For three and a half years there had been neither dew, nor rain in Israel. Their dire distress had divided the people in seven companies. Spiritual drought and declension in our land today seems to have divided us into similar companies. The story of Israel’s drought is told in James 5:16-18 and I Kings chapters 17 and 18. Ours is told in press and pulpit, playhouse, prison house, courts and capitols everywhere.
Company One (I Kings 18:42) “The Ahabite self-seekers.” Ahab went up to eat and drink. Feeding their stomachs and gratifying their craze for amusement and pleasure, the Ahabites are a mighty company today.
Company Two (I Kings 18:5-6) “The mourners over the drought.” The scriptures do not need to mention this crowd. They are a sure crop in every drought. We can see them gazing mournfully at the deep
cracks in the earth–signs of the worst drought Israel had ever suffered, but they were not closing a single crack by their plaints. They are still with us today.
Company Three (I Kings 19:18) “Israel’s Modern Religion.” The seven-thousand who had not bowed their knee to Baal. But neither were they bending their knees to Jehovah, to any apparent purpose. Looking for the restoration of Jehovah in Israel. They were doing nothing effective to bring it to pass. They represent the solid, but silent body of church members who listen appreciatively to an orthodox pastor, or without protest to a destructive modernist.
Company Four (I Kings 18:3-16) “The Straddlers or Middle of Road men.” The sample shown was Obadiah. He was a believer of the Prophets, but running with the machine. He tried to look out for the glory of God with one eye, for his position in Ahab’s corrupt court with the other. Obadiah’s name can be written many times with varying spelling in our land today.
Company Five (I Kings 18:4-13) “The Bread and Water Preachers.” A hundred prophets of the Lord in a cave, divided into camps looking for their bread and water. This is perhaps the saddest spectacle on
the whole horizon. Here were men, called of God to the prophetic office and having God’s message, hiding from danger in a cave praying for a revival. We need not look in vain for their company in our midst.
Company Six (I Kings 18:43-44) “The Sky Gazer.” A lad with an intent wistful face, gazing upward, looking for the “sign of a man’s hand in the sky.” Spiritual, unselfish, unworldly, we love the lad; yet he was doing nothing to bring to pass that for which he longed and watched. We must look beyond the gazers for the sign of a revival to find the man whom God used to turn the tide.
Company Seven (I Kings 18:42) “One Man” Elijah. He wrote in the sand the sign for which God was looking. The sign of a man’s knees in the sand. It was when Elijah furnished that simple sign, which any one of the others might have furnished, that there was the “sign of a man’s hand,” a sky overcast with clouds, a sound of abundance of rain, and a very great rain. Clad in an ox-hide mantle, knees in the sand, and head between his knees, one man won the victory.
While the Ahabites today look for their restaurant signs and movie signs, while the calamity mourners look for more and deeper cracks in the spiritual life of the church; while the seven thousand with dustless knees listen with equal urbanity to orthodox or modernistic sermons. While the Ohadiah’s look to some Ahab for the signals of the machine: while the hundred prophets of the Lord look for their “bread and water” instead of declaring the whole counsel of God; while the sky grazers gape for some super-natural sign in the heavens; God is watching for “The Sign of a Man’s knees in the Sand.”
In what respect does the one differ from those of the other six. Not psychologically–he was a man of like passions – James 5:17. Not Theologically — he was a righteous man, but so are all men in Christ Jesus. He differed, geographically, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, in whose presence I stand. (I Kings 17:1) He lived
in God’s presence, hence his knowledge of God’s will, his courage and certainty in prophecy, and his resistless power in prayer. His life was not Ahab-ward, nor earthward, nor other-ward, but only Godward. Therefore, he furnished the sign for which God looked and is still intently looking.
This material was provided to the Apostolic Information Service by Rev. George Cavaness of Bakersfield, CA.