The message of the Tishbite.
Elijah the Tishbite lived east of the Jordan River with the people of Gilead. A man without a biblical genealogy ….. it is unknown if Tishbite is a family name or a title. Elijah (Eliyahu in Hebrew) means Yah is God. Now that’s a name for God you have probably not heard before, Yah. And Elijah declared it to the house of Israel and their wicked king Ahab. Elijah’s message lies in the meaning of Tishbite. Two Hebrew words, a noun and a verb, paint a moving picture of a Sojourner spiritually returning from evil to dwell with God.
To sojourn is to temporarily stay in a place, like a college dorm, New York City or Italy. In this instance the Sojourner is temporarily on earth. Yah is God (Elijah) came to reveal the God of Israel who confronted the idol worshipers of Baal. Elijah demonstrated the power of God through signs and wonders that left no doubt that he was a prophet. And God left no doubt that Yah is God and there is no other. Elijah came to turn hearts back to God.
The whirlwind and chariot of fire.
It is difficult to pick and choose from the thoughts contained in 2 Kings chapter 2. If I tried this page would lead me away from what needs to be clear, Elijah and God’s message. But how Elijah entered heaven I cannot pass by. “Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” (2 Kings 2:11) God took him, he didn’t die! James says, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.” (James 5:17) Let your mind dwell on James’ statement. It really does jolt your thinking about faith.
The return of Elijah.
Israel received her last message from the prophet Malachi. Then came four-hundred years of silence before God would send His Son with His word. Understanding Malachi final words to Israel helps us on this prophetic journey moving on to the last things before the coming of our Lord.
“For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘That will leave them neither root nor branch.” (Malachi 4:1) Compare this day with the one spoken of by Jesus.
“The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Therefore just as the weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks and those who practice lawlessness.” (Mathew 13:39-41) Same day!
“But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; And you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this, ‘Says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 4:2-3)
“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all of Israel, With the statutes and judgments. Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Least I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:4-6) Elijah has the same purpose, to turn the heart of the sojourner back to God.
The spirit of Elijah came back to earth in the person of John the Baptist. God heard Zacahrias praying for his barren wife, Elizabeth, and promised him a son who would “turn many of the children of Israel to the LORD their God. He will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the LORD.” (Luke 1:16-17) This time the message to the Sojourner is turn and make ready.
Jesus leaves no room to doubt whose spirit was in John.“But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” (Matthew 11:8-10) “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who was to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:14)
God has given us the message of Elijah the Tishbite. We are only here for a little while, but enough time to turn away from evil and turn to God, if we have ears that hear. In simple words, Repent for the kingdom of God draws near.
To be continued.