“Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” – 1Kings 17:1
Because of the systematic emasculation of the American Church, and I’ll toss Western Europe into that insult as well, it’s become hard to square the words “biblical” and “bad-ass” without some hipster Christian spitting out his skinny milk, no foam, latte and crying “Foul!” And I mean crying. As in weeping.
The Bible, however, is filled with men and women who were absolutely, in the most holy sense of the word, stonking bad-asses.
Indeed, the Bible is chocked full of bad-asses but because we’ve been told to read the scripture through rose-colored, Hello-Kitty glasses, versus just taking these tales straight, as I do my whiskey, we miss the badassedness of Holy Writ’s heroes.
That’s what I am here for. To help you appreciate what these humans did for God and man that required a testicular fortitude that borders on the brink of extinction within our dandy church culture.
As you probably gathered from the title of my column and the cited scripture above, Elijah’s gonna be this column’s focus.
Lets unpack the first mention of Elijah and see what we can glean from this cat.
The first thing I’d like to point out is that Elijah was a Tishbite. Most Jews and Christians are familiar with Elijah. However, there was a time, thousands of years ago when he confronted wicked rulers, that no one knew squat about him. He was a “nobody” from an obscure tribe. A Tishbite? Who the heck are they? If you Google Tishbite in the Bible you ain’t gonna find much. When Elijah launched out no one knew who he was, they weren’t impressed with him and they did not listen to his rebukes. But you know what? That didn’t stop him from stomping some backside.
Elijah’s a badass in that he didn’t need all the crap most Christians think they need before they start kicking ass for the Lord.
Check it out. Elijah didn’t have a prophetic blog. He didn’t graduate with honors from Schlomo’s School of The Prophets. He didn’t have a Facebook fan page with 3,000 followers cheerleading him on. He wasn’t popular on Twitter. His family wasn’t famous and the tribe he hailed from wasn’t totes magotes. But, that didn’t hold him down because, you see, Elijah wasn’t looking to be accepted and earn a living being a professional prophet. Oh, no. He was looking to kick some ass.
Secondly, Elijah’s calling was to confront corrupt leaders. His work was not to start orphanages. He didn’t feed the poor. He didn’t have a leprosy outreach. He didn’t start an effort to save abused camels. He was not a life coach with a Christian flare. He was not a hip and cool prophet. He didn’t seek to be a positive, motivational speaker trying to subtly blend God’s message into the corrupt culture by getting a hair cut like Ahab, dressing like the backslidden Israelites and going to formal state dinners.
Screw that noise. That was not Elijah. His job: filet corrupt leaders who were leading his country astray.
In summation, my dear wannabe badasses, here’s the walkways from today’s Bible study regarding Elijah.
First off. Don’t bemoan that no one knows you, or you hail from a goofy place that isn’t a wow city. If something needs to be done and you’re the one to do it, then pony up, play the man and get it done. What you have in badassery will make up for what you may lack in credentials to the “experts” who demand such accolades before they show one respect.
Lastly, never compare whether or not what you do is legit based upon what others are doing. Elijah’s call was not to sing kum-ba-yah. His work was to pronounce judgment on Jezebel and her jacked up ilk. If Elijah had done anything else, like dog rescues, or marital counseling, or hospital visitations he would have been in direct disobedience to the call of God. No, Elijah’s a badass because he stayed focused and did something that all the other prophets were scared to do, namely confront wicked rulers. Would to God we had some Elijah’s doing that today both to the Left and the Right. Elijah was different because he had an attitude, and this attitude was a threat to all that was evil. He was a hazard to cultural constructs that would keep him and those he loved dumb and down and beholden to shady leaders. Elijah was not a dutiful and domesticated ecclesiastical cow of the politically and culturally correct constructs. Oh, heck no. Elijah was a bad-ass.
What about you?