The Time of Elijah
At the time of Elijah, men served the lustful god, Baal, through sex with temple prostitutes! Their wives must have had to ignore or minimize any pain they felt about this, since it was considered their husbands' “holy” and religious duty. Men also served the idol of their own prosperity. During lean times they sacrificed their first-born children to Baal to ensure that the rains would return.
Everything about Baal worship was designed to numb emotions, harden hearts, dull consciences, and destroy family life. For the nine months these little ones were in the womb, mothers must not have dared to form any bond with them, lest the pain be even more unbearable. By the time younger brothers and sisters came along, her heart must have grown too numb to bond with them as well. And Dad was too engrossed in his religiously sanctioned sex addiction to care.
Sounds a lot like our modern culture doesn't it? So many men are addicted to pornography. All manner of sexual perversion is not only permissible, but celebrated and even advocated in film and literature. And to preserve prosperity and personal well-being, so many sacrifice their children through abortion or neglect. We may no longer worship Baal as a god, but St. Paul said that the gods to whom the pagans sacrifice are actually demons (1 Corinthians 10:20). The demon, Baal, is still with us. He has merely found new ways for humans to serve him.
To point up the folly of serving him, Elijah prophetically smote the land with a curse of drought and famine, which Baal could do nothing to stop (1 Kings 17:1). After 3 ½ years with no rain, he challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest. Both they and Elijah built altars on Mt. Carmel (Baal's high place), and prayed that their god would burn up the sacrifice. Fire fell from heaven and burned not only Elijah's sacrifice, but also the stones, the soil around the altar, and even the many buckets of water poured over it all (1 Kings 18:34)! Fearfully, the people turned their hearts back to God, and they killed the false prophets who had helped them destroy their own family life. Only then could Elijah pray that the rains would return and end the curse.
RESTORING ALL THINGS
Today, Baal is still served, and a curse is upon us. Elijah Rain Ministries was founded to help train the body of Christ to help cure the soul's illness that turns hearts of fathers and mothers away from God, away from each other, and away from their children. We do this in the spirit of Malachi 4:5-6: ”Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the Prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse” (NAS).
And only by reconciling the generations will the second of Elijah's tasks also be fulfilled: “Elijah is coming and will restore all things” (Matthew 17:1, NAS ).
Our mission is to call hearts to repentance, healing, and reconciliation. We pray that we may contribute as much as possible toward turning hearts of fathers and mothers to their children, and toward restoring all things. In the end may we all be able to proclaim, as did Elijah, “LET IT RAIN!”© Mark Sandford