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Devotional - week of April 12, 2009


SIZE OF A MAN'S HAND

And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he [Elijah’s servant] said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he [Elijah] said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare [thy chariot], and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. 1 Kings 18:44

King Ahab and his evil wife, Jezebel, had sown much evil in the Kingdom of Israel. Elijah, the prophet, came to Ahab and told him there would be no more rain “but according to my word.”

Three years later, Elijah came again to Ahab and asked him to bring all of the Israelites and their 850 false prophets to Mount Carmel. When they gathered, Elijah challenged the false prophets to a contest between himself and them. He and the false prophets would offer sacrifices and call on their God. The God who answered by sending fire would prove Himself to be the real God. The god of the false prophets did not answer by fire. The God of Elijah did answer by fire and the people then believed that the God of Elijah was the real God.

Elijah then went to the top of Mount Carmel and prayed. He told his servant to go and look toward the sea. The servant looked seven times. After the seventh time, he told Elijah that he saw a cloud the size of man’s hand. Then “the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain.”

Some of us are seeing a cloud the size of a man’s hand—we are experiencing some fruitfulness from our labors. We have an inner witness that we are in God’s will and that the “mercy drops around us” will become “showers of blessing.” Waiting on God can be difficult. Isaiah 40:31, though, declares:

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

We wait on the Lord best when we are living by grace.