Who was the prophet Elijah and how is his ancient life exemplary for us in the 21st century? How did God use this ordinary man with many imperfections to accomplish extraordinary feats in the time of Old Testament kings?
Bible Gateway interviewed R. T. Kendall (@DrRTKendall) about his book, These Are the Days of Elijah: How God Uses Ordinary People to Do Extraordinary Things (Chosen Books, 2013).
Please explain the meaning of this book’s title.
Dr. R. T. Kendall: The book is about Elijah. I used “These are the days of Elijah” because that was a popular song a few years ago; the author not only gave me permission to use the title but gave a commendation.
Why do you call Elijah “the most colorful” prophet in the Old Testament?
Dr. R. T. Kendall: Because he was! He wore his feelings on his sleeve, was bold in his warning and pronouncements, showed his vulnerability again and again–this being the reason James 5:17 says he was ‘just like us.’
What does the Bible mean when it calls a person a prophet?
Dr. R. T. Kendall: He speaks for God: both revealing God’s feelings today but sometimes predicts the future.
Describe the context of Elijah’s life.
Dr. R. T. Kendall: There is none. This is why my first chapter is called “Out of the blue.”
Why do you say 21st century readers can identify with Elijah?
What are some of Elijah’s personal contradictions and what value are they to us today?
Dr. R. T. Kendall: For example, he said he was the “only one left.” God corrected him; not immediately but later on. It shows how God is patient with us. He lets us make mistakes, still uses us, then corrects us gently, but firmly, later.
What was Elijah’s worst hour?
Dr. R. T. Kendall: Running from Jezebel. What was Elijah’s finest hour? On Mount Carmel when he brought fire down from heaven before the prophets of Baal.
How did God use Elijah in spite of himself?
Dr. R.T. Kendall: The way he uses all of us; he knows our frame, remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:13-14).
What do you want readers to take away from this book?
Dr. R. T. Kendall: That if God could use Elijah, he can use you and me.
What is a favorite Bible passage of yours and why?
Dr. R. T. Kendall: John 5:44–my life verse—that is, the one I’ve sought to be governed by–seeking praise and honor of God, not the approval of people.
Bio: Dr. R. T. Kendall, renowned pastor and author, spent 25 years as senior minister of the historic Westminster Chapel in London. He has authored numerous bestselling books, conducts conferences all over the world, and is a columnist for Ministry Today. He lives with his wife, Louise, near Nashville, Tennessee. For more information, visit rtkendallministries.com.
Learn more about Elijah, the Old Testament, and more when you become a member of Bible Gateway Plus. Try it right now!