Royalty and Ruin


Drought and Famine for Two Years

The second year passed, and still the merciless heavens gave no sign of rain. Fathers and mothers were forced to see their children die. Yet apostate Israel seemed unable to detect in their suffering a call to repentance, a divine intervention to save them from taking the fatal step beyond the boundary of Heaven’s forgiveness. RR 44.3

Israel’s apostasy was an evil more dreadful than all the horrors of famine. God was trying to help His people recover their lost faith, and He had to bring great affliction on them. “‘Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?’ says the Lord God, ‘and not that he should turn from his ways and live?’” “‘I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord God. ‘Therefore turn and live!’” Ezekiel 18:23, 32. RR 44.4

God had sent messengers to Israel, with appeals to return to their loyalty. But they had only become angry with the messengers, and now they regarded the prophet Elijah with intense hatred. If only he would fall into their hands, gladly they would deliver him to Jezebel—as if by silencing his voice they could prevent his words from being fulfilled! RR 44.5

For stricken Israel there was only one remedy—turning away from the sins that had brought upon them the Almighty’s correcting hand. God had given them the assurance, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14. To bring about this blessed result, God continued to withhold the dew and the rain until a thorough reformation would take place. RR 44.6