“There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand” – 1 Kings 18:44


The recent Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decisions just may be a fist in the sky. What do I mean? Read on.

Eighty-seven percent of people in our country either never took out student loans or worked diligently, sacrificially, honestly, and paid them. It is easy to secure a student loan, but paying them back, ah, that is another story. It is an investment in yourself. It is an honorable investment, for most at least. But in the last political cycle in a blatant brazen effort to buy the votes of youth, the idea was set forth to “forgive” repaying student loans. Many welcomed this like a Lotto win. But those with more sober understanding know that nothing is ever truly “free” in such offers, someone pays. The hardworking taxpayer pays the bills for politicians’ spending. We write the checks. They cash in. Such plans that would impose on the 87% the cost of paying off the loans of 13% percent, was a smack in the face not to mention a grossly insensitive injustice. Thankfully, the SCOTUS saw through the scheme and blocked the political ploy.

Next the SCOTUS put a stop to Affirmative Action recognizing its time had come and gone. “All men are created equal” our Declaration of Independence says. Our Constitution safeguards such equal standing for all people in our land. Granted our history is scarred by times in which equality was not justly enforced for all people. There is evidence of prejudice in our history. No nation is perfect. But no other nation fought so bloody a Civil War to preserve equality. Our nation has a heart to move us closer to justness. We are not Black, White, Brown, or Yellow, or some other color, we are Red, White, and Blue brothers and sisters. Do you know what the colors of our flag stand for? Red stands for hardiness and valor, bravery, courage. White stands for purity and innocence. Blue stands for vigilance, perseverance, justice.[1] That is what we should be and that is what we should all be working toward.[2] Some would scrap the nation and move on. Sane and grateful people are willing to work together toward an ever-better Union. It was Martin Luther King Jr. who expressed his yearning for a day when “people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” We are closer to that day now.

These are two momentous decisions. But as land shaking as they are politically, they are only a fist in the sky for our nation. We still devote a month as a nation to celebrations of “Pride” in lifestyles God calls sinful and sees as abominable. We have a long way to go. Our children are being targeted and legislators are working to legalize that. The unthinkable is not only being thought but perversely pondered. It must stop. There is no sane justification for children to be preyed on by adults. There is much more that needs reversing. Legislation and elections alone are inadequate. We need to continue to pray for revival. What we have seen this week is a fist in the sky, it is a glimmer of hope, it is a sign possibly, of something more. Maybe the drought of darkness can end. What is this fist in the sky?

When I refer to a “fist in the sky,” it is not to convey any spirit of Che Guevara communism or socialism, insurrection, or revolution. I do not mean to conjure up memories of the 1968 Olympics when three Americans expressed their protest with black-gloved fists held high on the victory podium. A “fist in the sky” to me has nothing to do with Antifa anarchy or Critical Race divisiveness. A “fist in the sky” means so much more than socialism which leads to godless atheist communism, and more, not less, iniquity, inequality, and suffering. No, “a fist in the sky” for me is something so much more profound and powerful, so much more than any of that stuff.

In the Old Testament there was a time, much like our day, when God’s people were near completely given over to pagan idol perversity. You can read the account in 1 Kings 17-18. The Israelites had turned their backs on God. So long had they drifted from God that they could not even remember Him, let alone His word. They forgot their history. They forgot God’s deliverances, their Red Sea road, manna in the wilderness, and quail feasts. They forgot it all, and they were far, far away from God. They were about as far away from God as a people could get from Him, until GOD called a prophet named Elijah, then everything changed.

When Elijah answered God’s call, he stopped the rain for three years to get all their attention. The king, his pagan priests, the people, no one could escape the drought. Elijah became infamous as a result. It is not popular to represent God. But God had a plan. That plan continued with directing the fiery prophet to pick a fight with about five hundred of the enemy. 500 to 1, not good odds, but Elijah stood up boldly. He stood tall in the LORD and challenged their god. “Set up a sacrifice and let’s see if your god is real. A real God ought to be able to rain down fire and consume the sacrifice.” An incredible challenge.

The prophets of Baal were proud of their god. No way would they not accept this challenge. Elijah, being the gentleman prophet he was, gave them the first shot. Now, keep in mind this challenge was in front of the king, all the pagan worshippers and their priests, and all those who used to follow the one true God, all of God’s people. It was quite a scene and quite a bold challenge. But when you believe in and know the One True God, and know the emptiness of false gods, and are walking in the call of God, you are bold as a lion. Elijah was the boldest of prophets. His bravery was only surpassed by His heart of obedience.

The pagan priests made every effort to impress their god. They gyrated and cried out to Baal their god of thunder. They jumped, yelled, and called on their god for fire. But nothing. They cut themselves and let their blood flow. They let it all out for all to see. It was their version of a Pride Parade. But nothing. Silence. Nothing.

Elijah watched all this with amazement. He mocked the fanatics. “Maybe your god is asleep. Maybe he’s on the toilet!” Elijah mercilessly mocked those foolish priests and their empty anemic man-made mythological god. But then it was his turn. And when it was, he rebuilt the altar, put the sacrifice on it, and doused it with gushes of water. With the sacrifice in place and the meat drenched, then without hysterics or show, he simply peacefully prayed, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again” (1 Kings 18: 36-37).

Notice Elijah mentions “Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,” not “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Why did he frame his prayer that way? “Jacob” means heel catcher, or conniver. “Israel” on the other hand means governed by God. Not only did Elijah pray for God to consume the sacrifice, but he prayed for God to win the people’s hearts back to Himself. He was praying they look beyond earthly governance to God’s governance. He was praying for revival.

That was it. That is all he prayed. That is all he did. Elijah knew the power was not in his prayer. The power was in the God he was praying too. It was not about him; it was about God. That is something we need to remember. And God answered that humble faithful prayer. “Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice.”

It was an incredible victory and manifestation of God’s power. It opened the eyes and enlivened the hearts of the people. They fell on their faces in repentance and worship crying, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!” (1 Kings 18:39). When was the last time you fell on your face before God? when was the last time God so overwhelmed you that you had to admit, “The LORD, He is God! the LORD, He is God!”? We need that for our day. And this shows us that the people’s faith revived in answer to Elijah’s prayer. Their hearts turned back to God. God is faithful. God loves to revive His people. God loves to welcome back His people. God sent and Jesus came to die on the cross to bring lost humanity home to Him. There should be no doubt in your heart about God’s love for you. Elijah seized the moment and had the false prophets executed. But what does all this have to do with “a fist in the cloud”? It is merely the introduction.

After the victory and manifestation by God, it states:

1 Kings 18:41-46 (NKJV)

41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink.

Prior to this Arab sought the life of Elijah for the drought he had brought. To Ahab, Elijah was enemy number one of the state. But fearlessly now Elijah tells the king to go eat and drink, “for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” In other words, “King, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” But what rain Elijah? There were no signs of rain. Not even a drop. It was still dry, still a drought. There wasn’t any rain, at least not yet. But Elijah spoke in faith. he told the king the rain was coming, and you better get ready to enjoy it.

But what about the “fist in the clouds”? Read on:

 And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees,

 Elijah began praying for what he had promised the king. I imagine he prayed fervently, wholeheartedly, like we should always pray. When was the last time you got on the ground before the LORD, put your face between your knees, and prayed? When was the last time you prayed in desperation? I don’t know if Elijah was desperate. But certainly he was praying fervently for the rain to come. He had just been instrumental in defeating the prophets of Baal. God had rained down fire on the sacrifice. How would it look if he couldn’t end what he had begun, the rain? He prayed.

 43 and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”

“Go look out toward the sea.” Elijah prayed with expectation. He just knew God would answer his prayer. He prayed persistently, seven times. God’s answers are not always immediate. In fact it is my experience that they seldom are. But like Elijah, we should pray on.

44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.'”

 It took seven times before the servant returned with word that, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” Do you see it? “Small as a man’s hand,” (Hebrew kap) the hollow of the hand, palm, a handful, a fist! That little sign of a cloud was like a fist in the sky. Do you see the fist in the sky? It was small. It was the beginning. But it was all Elijah needed to have his faith inspired to spring him to action. “Go up,” he instructed. “Tell the king to get moving.” And sure enough, Elijah’s sense of God’s moving was right.

45 Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. 46 Then the hand of the LORD came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

 The sky darkened. The rain came. A downpour. It all started with a fist of a cloud in the sky. The prophet stepped up in faith. He boldly challenged the false enemies of God and His people. Then a mighty magnificent victory. The people’s hearts turned. That was good. But there was more. There needed to be more.

What can we learn from the “fist in the sky”? I suggest the following.

Great victories come when someone answers the call of God and obeys in faith.

Great victories come when we feel the way God feels about sinful things. What He calls an abomination, we should call an abomination. What He opposes, we should oppose. We need to have a passion for what God is passionate about. God is passionate about people, lost people. Do you have a passion for the lost?

Great victories are not determined by numbers but by those willing to hear and obey the LORD regardless of the numbers.

Great victories are not the product of enthusiasm or fanaticism, but by simple prayer in faith. Great victories depend on God not so much us.

Great victories are only the beginning of ending the drought. Great victories must be followed by fervent prayer for rains that revive the land.

Great victories of revival are brought by persistent prayer even when initially there are no signs of an answer. Great victories are not based on what we see, but on what God promises.

Great victories of revival and refreshing are alert and attentive to the smallest of signs, “a fist in the sky.” And when we see the fist in the sky, we should get ready for God’s downpour.

The SCOTUS decisions I mentioned earlier are good signs. Darkness is being opposed. Darkness is being exposed. Prophecy does not speak definitively of a revival for our days. But it does not discount it either. Let’s seek the LORD. Let’s rely on His grace and mercy, and love for us. We know His justice is coming, but until it does, let’s pray.

This Fourth of July, when so much seems dark and bad and to be going wrong, look for a fist in the sky. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Get on your face before the LORD. Listen for His call. Answer His call. Act on His call, even if you must stand alone. Remember, as Martin Luther said, “One with God is a majority.” Never forget that. Keep looking up. Keep looking out. Maybe just maybe, there will be a fist in the sky, and God’s rain will come.

Please LORD, open Your heavens and rain on us! In Jesus name, save our nation, save us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

[1] https://www.legion.org/flag/questions-answers/91471/what-do-colors-flag-mean

[2] Truly the Gospel is the solution to our nation’s problems, especially our divisions. Jesus died to bring us together to God. The Church is where those who were far from God and separated from Him due to sin, can now come close to Him and each other because of the gift of His forgiveness by grace received through faith in Jesus Christ. See Ephesians 2-3.

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