““Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”
1 Kings 18:17
What evil had
Elijah done to make him a troublemaker? What kind of trouble had he made for
the nation of Israel?
troublesome to Ahab and Jezebel because he held onto his faith in the Lord
while the king and the queen were bringing Baal to Israel and attempting to
establish a foreign religion. Anyone who refused to go along would have been
called a troublemaker and would be singled out to be attacked.
life was hanging by a thread when he appeared before Ahab and Jezebel, for they
had been in hot pursuit of the one they deemed the worst troublemaker, public
enemy number one even, of the land and were very eager to get rid of him.
found this man to be a troublemaker.” The apostle Paul was accused of the same
thing. What kind of trouble did the apostle cause? What he was doing for the
entire world wasn’t trouble at all; it was the greatest blessing the world had
ever known. People considered it troublesome because his message demanded that
they make a change in their thinking and actions, which was something most
people didn’t want to do.
message can be quite troublesome to many.
Back to the
prophet Elijah, who must have become quite a sore spot for Ahab and his mere
presence was troublesome beyond words. The prophet stood for something Ahab
didn’t have the courage to face, something completely righteous and holy,
attributes imparted to him by the almighty God. So Ahab stood condemned in the
mere presence of the holy man. Thus the king had two choices to make: he could
have yielded to the prophet or he could have done away with the man.
It would have
been alright had the prophet remained silent, which was something many people
of his time might have chosen to do. No wonder the prophet felt so lonely and
isolated while he was fighting for the truth. It is merely a self-protective
mechanism that we are accustomed to practicing; consequently, very few of us
are troublemakers. “One must be discerning to protect himself (明哲保身,)” a Chinese saying is rendered.
“I want you to be wise about
what is good, and innocent about what is evil,” wrote Paul in the book of
Romans. I suppose we all have become too wise to become troublemakers and have
learned to keep our mouths shut as far as goodness is concerned, for people
often consider it evil when we try to defend and proclaim what’s righteous and
good. Goodness simply does not sell these days.
“We are fools for Christ, but
you are so wise in Christ!” lamented the apostle. I am afraid we don’t fare
much better than the Corinthians of the first century in being witnesses for
Christ and, compared to Elijah, the troublemaker and the fool, we are just too
wise for words.