After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself Ahab, and I will sent rain on the land” (1 Kings 18:1 NIV).
God’s ways and the timing of His acting are all in His hands alone. His servants can act only according to His word. It requires constant listening to God to know in which direction God is moving. Then only can the servant of God move accordingly.
This is crucial to ensure the continuity of God’s work. In this case Elijah had met Ahab three years ago and proclaimed to him that there will not be any rain in the land except at his word. That had come to pass. And it had created a famine in the land. That was God’s act. Now God was moving to bring rain on the land. For that to happen, God commanded Elijah to present himself before Ahab.
It is interesting to note that God is picking up the thread of events from where he had last left it. It was in Elijah’s previous encounter with Ahab that it was proclaimed that there will be no rain for the next few years. Now God was asking Elijah to meet with Ahab again. That encounter, God said, would enable Him to send rain on the land.
But for Elijah it was no easy option. Ahab was a wicked king. He had sent people in search of Elijah after his first proclamation that there will be no rain. So going back to present himself to this man was not even a safe option. But Elijah went to present himself to Ahab. And after a dramatic encounter with false prophets rain fell on the land. The secret was obedience to God’s word. So present yourself to Ahab for that is how God continues His work.