Cause and Effect

1 Kings 16:29–33; 1 Kings 17:1–5; 1 Kings 18:10–18

Ahab blamed Elijah for the ongoing drought in Israel. Or, at least he could blame Elijah for the drought.

Ahab knew that Elijah had declared that no rain would fall on Israel. Sounds like a pretty good reason to blame Elijah. Except, the real reason was Ahab.

He had gotten to a point where whatever he wanted was reasonable, even if it was unreasonable from anyone else’s . His wife, Jezebel, encouraged and enabled such behavior. Between the two of them, Israel was in a bad situation.

Ahab had the dubious distinction of being the worst king so far in not following God. Depending on how you read it, either Ahab was worse than any of the kings before him or was worse than all of them combined.

From our perspective of as the Water, the drought can be a symbol of without God. It certainly fits the narrative. Israel was without God, and Ahab can be symbolic of Israel.

It is often important to look beyond the surface story and see the deeper meaning. For example, Ahab was blaming Elijah for “holding back” the of water. Yet, the were withdrawn as a result of behavior.

The goal wasn’t punishment, but repentance and . Ahab looked at it as someone else’s fault, and couldn’t see anything but someone else.


, help us to see your even when we struggle. Amen.


1) How do you recognize something as your fault? How about responsibility?

2) What is the difference between fault and responsibility?

3) What is the difference between a spiritual drought and a spiritual wilderness? How can you tell the difference?

Image courtesy of Robert Murray