A Dark Sabbath

  • April 20, 2019
Saturday 20

John 19:30-42

As Jesus’ body lay in a tomb, so did the disciples’ hopes and dreams. They had left everything to follow the one they believed was the Messiah, and now He was dead. Fear, doubt, and grief must have cycled through their minds. What were they to do? Where were they to go? How could they go on without Jesus? No doubt their hearts grew sick with confusion as they contemplated these things.

The disciples’ doubts shouldn’t surprise us, because if we’re honest, we also see doubt in ourselves. The men of “little faith,” as Jesus often called them, failed to believe or remember what the Lord had said of Himself—that He would lay down His life and take it up again. In the darkness of their grief, all His promises were forgotten.

At times in our lives, it may seem that God has let us down, but ultimately we know that He will never forsake us (Heb. 13:5). But like the disciples, we’ll experience dark circumstances, which can dim our faith and dash our hopes. That’s when we most need to remember God’s promises and meditate on His faithfulness.

Often, however, when we’re facing uncertainty, all we want is an answer to our problem or relief from our pain. Therefore, we frequently try to fix it ourselves instead of trusting God and waiting for Him to act.

The disciples had to go through a dark Saturday, but when Sunday finally came, their sorrow was turned to joy. In the same way, if we are willing to wait and trust God through the darkness of night, we can rest in knowing that morning will surely come.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 18-19

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30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

31 Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

32 So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him;

33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.

36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN."

37 And again another Scripture says, THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCE."

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body.

39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.

40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.

41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.

42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"

1 Now it happened after many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth."

2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria.

3 Ahab called Obadiah who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly;

4 for when Jezebel destroyed the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave, and provided them with bread and water.)

5 Then Ahab said to Obadiah, Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys; perhaps we will find grass and keep the horses and mules alive, and not have to kill some of the cattle."

6 So they divided the land between them to survey it; Ahab went one way by himself and Obadiah went another way by himself.

7 Now as Obadiah was on the way, behold, Elijah met him, and he recognized him and fell on his face and said, Is this you, Elijah my master?"

8 He said to him, It is I. Go, say to your master, `Behold, Elijah is here. '"

9 He said, What sin have I committed, that you are giving your servant into the hand of Ahab to put me to death?

10 As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent to search for you; and when they said, `He is not here, ' he made the kingdom or nation swear that they could not find you.

11 And now you are saying, `Go, say to your master, Behold, Elijah is here. "'

12 It will come about when I leave you that the Spirit of the LORD will carry you where I do not know; so when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the LORD from my youth.

13 Has it not been told to my master what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the LORD, that I hid a hundred prophets of the LORD by fifties in a cave, and provided them with bread and water?

14 And now you are saying, `Go, say to your master, Behold, Elijah is here "'; he will then kill me."

15 Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today."

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, Is this you, you troubler of Israel?"

18 He said, I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father's house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and you have followed the Baals.

19 Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."

20 So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel.

21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word.

22 Then Elijah said to the people, I alone am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal's prophets are 450 men.

23 Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it.

24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people said, That is a good idea."

25 So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, Choose one ox for yourselves and prepare it first for you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it. "

26 Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, O Baal, answer us." But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made.

27 It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened."

28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them.

29 When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me." So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD which had been torn down.

31 Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, Israel shall be your name."

32 So with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed.

33 Then he arranged the wood and cut the ox in pieces and laid it on the wood.

34 And he said, Fill four pitchers with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood." And he said, Do it a second time," and they did it a second time. And he said, Do it a third time," and they did it a third time.

35 The water flowed around the altar and he also filled the trench with water.

36 At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word.

37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again."

38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God."

40 Then Elijah said to them, Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape." So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

41 Now Elijah said to Ahab, Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower."

42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees.

43 He said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea." So he went up and looked and said, There is nothing." And he said, Go back" seven times.

44 It came about at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, a cloud as small as a man's hand is coming up from the sea." And he said, Go up, say to Ahab, `Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.'"

45 In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.

46 Then the hand of the LORD was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to Jezreel.

1 Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.

2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time."

3 And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers."

5 He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, Arise, eat."

6 Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again.

7 The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you."

8 So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.

9 Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, What are you doing here, Elijah?"

10 He said, I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

11 So He said, Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

12 After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.

13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, What are you doing here, Elijah?"

14 Then he said, I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

15 The LORD said to him, Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram;

16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.

17 It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.

18 Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him."

19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him.

20 He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you." And he said to him, Go back again, for what have I done to you?"

21 So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.

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Publish Date August 20, 2019
Relying on the Spirit in Our Work

Relying on the Holy Spirit instead of ourselves sets us up to walk in God's ways and blessings.

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