by: Kurt Taffin
Did you know the first cross-country invitational was in the Old Testament?
1 Kings 18
After the contest of Elijah defeating the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel Elijah prays for rain. The drought in the land was over and Elijah and King Ahab would now go their separate ways. Elijah persistently prayed for rain seven times until finally a small cloud rose out of the sea.
Then a servant of Elijah told Ahab “ ‘Prepare your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” (18:44) Elijah knew a downpour was coming.
“ Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. Then the hand of the LORD came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” (18:45-46)
Now from Mount Carmel to Jezreel was roughly 15-20 miles. King Ahab was in a chariot.
Wow! Elijah was obviously supernaturally powered. Scripture really does not say why God wanted Elijah to reach Jezreel first, however consider that is at least about a 3-minute mile average!
(Hebrews 12:1-2) “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Moral of the lesson. God will empower you to run the race!