And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.I Kings 18: 17-19)
After a three and a half year drought, which had brought the once prosperous nation to a poverty stricken, starving, desert, The time had come for a confrontation.
Very closely echoing the confrontations between Moses and Pharaoh, the emergence of Elijah, from exile, in his black haired mantle, leather belt, and stern manner which bespoke of renunciation of the World must have been shocking. Ahab had been searching for Him to arrest him, yet suddenly there he stood.
Ahab’s question didn’t come out of the blue, “Are you he that troubles Israel?”. It actually hearkens to Israel’s history shortly after the Exodus and the story of Achan.
Israel had suffered an inexplicable defeat shortly after the amazing triumph at Jericho. A relatively small amount of troops from the city of Ai had slain and put to flight a larger force from Israel, and this led to agonizing soul searching throughout the land, from Joshua all the way down to the newest recruit. What went wrong?
How could it be that if “One would put a thousand to flight, and two ten thousand…” that we should be slain and humiliated by such a small force?
The answer was soon revealed, Sin in the camp. There was a “troubler” named Achan, (Achan means ‘troubler’) who had violated the Korban and brought judgment upon the whole nation. He had to be found, arrested and eliminated. There was a great assembly and through the use of Urrim and Thumim, all of Israel was pared down to one family, that of Achan.
As they prepared to stone him to death, Joshua asked him literally, “Troubler, why have you troubled us?”. A ‘troubler” came to mean someone who brings levels of evil or trouble upon the nation such as Achan did.
But here, centuries later, the memory is perverted, for Ahab thinks Elijah is the troubler of Israel, because in his view he has brought upon the nation the suffering, hunger, disease and poverty that ensued from the drought announced by Elijah.
To Ahab , Elijah is the troubler. He is the Achan that needs to be eliminated.
But to Elijah, and to the faithful remnant, it would be the widespread infestation of idolatry, with all of it’s accompanying violence, sexual perversion , oppression of the poor and other forms of immorality on the land , that would be the cause of the troubles. They are the cause which brought upon the nation the Judgment which Elijah announced.
So it is today. People in the West are so far from the God which we once feared, that they regard those who fear God as a problem, a trouble to society, due to their supposed intolerance, hate, bigotry, and ‘ignorance’ as the problem in our troubled societies.
They don’t see the connection between the sexual revolution and the acceptance of Darwinian evolution, and other changes that have come upon our societies, with the violence, the breakdown of the family and the mal educational propaganda as being what troubles our societies. Rather Christians are the troublers, and soon they will seek to deal with us, in their blindness.
The question then as now is, “Who is the real troubler of Israel?”