So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”1 Kings 18:16-18 NIV
“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’S commands and have followed the Baals.
The Bible describes Ahab as the most wicked king Israel had (1 Ki. 16:30). At one point, God sent the prophet Elijah to confront him and tell him that it would not rain in Israel for the next few years because of Ahab’s sin (1 Ki. 17:1). Then, after three years of drought, Elijah was again sent to Ahab.
When Ahab met Elijah he accused him of being the cause of all of the trouble that had come to Israel because of the drought. But Elijah turned the charge back onto Ahab. The trouble that Israel was experiencing was because of what Ahab had done in leading Israel away from the worship of God, turning to Baal instead.
The Cause of the Nation’s Troubles
I find this passage especially relevant today in the United States. The United States is not a Christian nation, and never really has been. But for most of its history, we have generally followed biblical principles of morality, justice, and compassion.
But a growing segment of our population is turning their back on those principles. The teachings of the Bible are branded as outdated and repressive. And those who try to follow or advocate them are demonized as enemies of progress and intolerant.
And yet our country is not getting better by any objective standard that I know of. I do not think it coincidental that the turmoil in our streets, the disintegration of family life, and the chaos in our political realm all coincide with this move away from traditional values based on the Bible and its teachings. As we turn our backs on God, is it any wonder that we are falling into chaos as a nation?
Elijah’s response to Ahab is just as relevant today as it was nearly 3,000 years ago. As a nation, we worship the gods of humanism, naturalism, materialism, scientism, and self. And we are paying the price for living in denial and rebellion against God. I believe that the only hope we have as a nation is to turn from our false gods and to the God of the Bible. The one who created us, knows us best, and has the answers to what currently troubles us as a nation.