King Ahab and his wicked Queen Jezebel ruled the land. The country was given over to immorality and idolatry. Religious prostitution accompanied the pagan worship of Baal. Many true prophets had been openly murdered by Jezebel's forces. No public outcry was being voiced by any group within the nation. In fact, an individual's life would have been at risk had he spoken out against the corruption.
But Elijah had dared to be a voice. He preaches a fiery sermon of judgment to King Ahab himself. As he did so, God miraculously protected and preserved His faithful and courageous prophet. God has many ways of taking care of His people who are willing to stand up and speak out against sin - even today and even you!
Elijah fearlessly forced the prophets of Baal into a major showdown between their gods and the God of Israel. There at Mount Carmel, in an awe-inspiring display of power, the Lord showed Himself to be unquestionably supreme over Baal and the pagan prophets. Elijah single-handedly slew over 400 prophets of Baal in a single afternoon. Then the Lord sent a long-delayed rain as a sign of His blessing. For a few fleeting hours it appeared that Israel was on the verge of a national revival. But revival did not come. And the Queen personally threatened to have Elijah executed.
So Elijah ran away!
If a great prophet of God like Elijah could so quickly lose his determination and courage, let's realize that we are not invulnerable! Our strong stand for truth and our fearless faith today is no guarantee that we are immune to downfall tomorrow. We must constantly depend on the Lord for His strength and His courage.
After hearing about Jezebel's threat on his life, Elijah high-tailed it as fast as he could to the extreme southern end of the country. All the way to Mount Horeb in the Sinai peninsula. Here, far from Jezebel's clutches, he had an argument with God. Elijah was convinced that he was the only faithful believer in Israel (I Kings 19:10, 14). Have you ever felt like that?
But Elijah was wrong! He was not the only one who had stayed true to the Lord. In verse 18 God tells him that there were still 7000 faithful men and women in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal.
The Scriptures don't give much information about the 7000. But we do have a few details about some of them. There was Obadiah (not the Obadiah who wrote the book of the Bible) and the 100 prophets of God whom he hid from Jezebel (1 Kings 18:3-16).
There was Elisha, who was being prepared to take Elijah's place (1 Kings 19:20-21).
There were the prophets of God who are mentioned in 1 Kings 20:13, 28 and 35.
There was Naboth, who refused to let his family inheritance fall into the hands of King Ahab because God's law forbade such transactions (1 Kings 21).
And certainly the prophet Micaiah would be counted among the 7000 (1 Kings 22). Some of the 7000 were more outspoken and less secret than others. In fact, Micaiah would later become as fearless and outspoken before Ahab as Elijah had been!
Some of these 7000 may have had significant short-comings. Obadiah, for example, was involved in the service of King Ahab, when perhaps he should have separated himself from the corrupt affairs of the royal court. But regardless of the wide differences in their courage and commitment, they had one thing in common: they had not deserted their godly heritage. They had not bowed the knee to Baal. Nor kissed his idol.
The Lord's reminder of the faithful 7000 appears to be a mild rebuke to the prophet.
Elijah may have had some good reasons for thinking that he was the only "man of God" left. But God still had a few other faithful believers throughout the country.
As I look across America. Especially as I look across Dixie. I see a land and a people, governed by a wicked ruler, who have by and large lost all sight of their history, and who have abandoned the heritage and legacy of their ancestors. Like Elijah, I started Dixie Heritage because someone needs to be a voice. To cry against the evil and speak the truth!
And like Elijah, this week, God gave me a revelation. It went a little something like this: There are 11,000 who have not bowed the knee to reconstruction, revisionism, or whatever you want to call it. 11,000 Southerners who are proud of their heritage and who are actively working to advance the cause.
Who are these 11,000? They are subscribers to the Southern Heritage News and Views newsletter published by Chuck Demastus. I used to receive weekly emails from Chuck back when I was in Kansas (2005-2006) and then lost track of him. Last week he asked if he could republish the Dixie Heritage Letter to his SHNV facebook page, which has over 11,000 fans (or subscribers or whatever they have over at facebook - I'm not actually on facebook). And so all this week I have been mulling over the story of Elijah and the 7,000.
There are now 11,001 subscribers to Southern Heritage News and Views newsletter - I've subscribed. And I encourage you to do the same! This week the SHNV features a great article by Paul Belz.
The link to SHNV is: http://shnv.blogspot.com/
Imagine the good that can come to our country if all 11,000 who have not bowed the knee to political correctness were to rise up in one voice and demand our country back? What if each of the 11,000 could help just one person to rediscover their heritage? And then each of those helped just one person. It would be a revival of biblical proportions.
Knock on your neighbors door today - lets each go after our one!
TRIBUTE TO ACTOR JAMES BEST
When I was a boy growing up in the South (the south-side of Chicago) my favorite TV show was The Dukes of Hazzard. What wasn't to like about a fast orange car with a Confederate Flag on the roof?
You might find this hard to comprehend, but when I was a kid the people in Chicago made fun of southerners. So did most all of the shows on TV. Except for the Dukes of Hazzard. That was a TV show that made it seem almost cool to be a Southerner.
We all wanted a car like the General Lee. And there wasn't a girl in Chicago (or Cleveland either for that matter) anywhere near as pretty as Daisy Duke.
My favorite character from the show was Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, often seen with his dog Flash. When I was in Jr. High School I got a Basset Hound, just like Flash. They are awesome dogs.
Sheriff Roscoe went to be with the Lord this week. He was 88. Born in Kentucky, he died in North Carolina. He was a true son of the South. Maybe you met him at a Southern Heritage event or reenactment? I know I saw him at a few through the years. Just a couple of years ago, in Branson, I took a picture in his patrol car.
If you do not see the 2nd video use this link: https://youtu.be/TAPrRaCL5l0
We'll miss you Sheriff Roscoe!
THIS WEEK IN THE WBTS:
In 1865 General Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Union General U. S. Grant.
Trivia Today had an interesting trivia series this week to commemorate the event. If you'd like to see it the link is: CLICK HERE FOR TRIVIA
There is something that I have always thought to be interesting about Lee's surrender. That is that Lee ONLY surrendered ONE of his armies.
Lee was the Supreme Commander of ALL Confederate forces. As such he could have surrendered the Army of Trans-Mississippi, the Army of Tennessee, the Confederate Navy, Marine Corps, etc. But he did not. He only surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia.
My personal belief is that he believed that the Confederate government would have moved a lot farther west than it did. Probably into the Appalachian or Ozark mountains and the Western armies would continue the struggle until they were either exhausted or until some outside power (perhaps from Europe or Mexico) would intervene on their behalf. But in any event the fight would go on.
What is the lesson that we learn from Lee's decision? Simply that despite the circumstances, no matter how seemingly overwhelming the odds - NEVER give up! Stay in the fight! Keep at it! We may be defeated but we should never quit!
The other night I was managing a baseball game. The league is for 6-8 yr olds. So the games are 6 innings or 90 minutes. But if we start an inning the rules require that we finish it. We were down by 2 runs. It was the end of the 5th. There was only about 9 minutes left on the game clock. The rule book says that with as few as 8 minutes left we can start another inning. The umpire wanted to call the game. I wouldn't let him do it. The other team was at the top of their order. We were at the bottom of ours. They would get to bat first. They already had a 3 run lead and would likely score again. I had a boy at the bottom of my order who hasn't got a hit all season. Another who has only hit 3 times all year. Both would have to hit for us to even have a shot. But I would not let the umpire call the game. What happened? The other team scored three more runs. My boys somehow managed to score 1 run (honestly, when I told the umpire to start the 6th inning I foresaw us scoring no runs). The final score was 10 - 6. Was that worse than 7 - 5? Some of our parents thought so. But our kid who hadn't hit all season did. That to me was worth the extra few minutes on the ball field. And our boys learned a valuable lesson. That you do not quit. As long as there is a chance, however slim, you keep at it.
When I was telling the umpire to continue the game he flat looked at me and told me, "Coach Ed, we both know you've lost this one." To which I replied, "Probably. But there is a still a chance and I wouldn't be a very good coach if I didn't fight to keep my boys in the game."
Its only the second game we've lost all season. All the rest are wins and ties (the 90 minute clock does not allow for extra innings). As much as I'd like to, I can not play baseball for my boys. They have to win them or lose them for themselves. But as their coach I can teach them the skills and give them the opportunities. That is what General Lee did when he failed to surrender the western armies and Navy of the Confederacy. He gave his boys another chance, however slim, to keep at it. Theirs was a moral victory we still celebrate today.
Oh, and by the way, our league president was watching. Had a talk with the umpire after that game. And now I am coaching the all-star team. My prayer is that I may do so with 1/10th of the greatness with which General Lee commanded his armies and Navy.
About 10 years ago I wrote a 17-chapter biography of General Lee. The Southern Bookseller online store is offering FREE shipping this week for the printed book.
Also available this week at a discount as a Kindle eBook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KMW0EGG
Deo Vindice! Chaplain Ed