"Why indeed should I welcome you,
The Old Testament prophet Elijah received about the same
welcome from King Ahab as Gandalf recieved from King Theoden
of Rohan in the classic tale of "The Lord of the Rings." The
way Grima Wormtongue greets Gandalf upon his arrival at the
great hall of King Theoden, is dramatically different from the
way that most of the other characters greet Gandalf in the
Lord of the Rings series.
When King Ahab saw Elijah, for the first time in three years,
the first words out of his mouth are "Is that you, you troubler
of Israel?" Sometimes being Godís spokesperson isnít exactly
glamorous or easy. In spite of the miracles God performed
the people of Israel rejected Elijah, and in time were carried
off into captivity.
The story of Elijah is great reminder that in spite of our
circumstances we need to stand firm in our faith and devotion
to the Lord. The prevailing culture of Elijahís time centered
around the worship of Asherah whose worship was lewd and
associated with Baal, another immoral god whose worship
included child sacrifice and prostitution. While bloody child
sacrifices are no longer popular, we still live in a world where
cultural and social influences run contrary to the teachings of
As Christians, we are called upon to be salt and light in the
world around us. This passage from the Gospel of Matthew
is still so true today. Jesus warned his disciples that "All men
will hate you because of me," but he also encouraged them
by saying, "but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
If the world doesn't welcome you, you may be
just where the Lord wants you.