Who Were the 7,000?

Text: 1 Kings 19:18

After the showdown with the prophets of Baal, Elijah was forced to flee from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:1-3). With the opposition he was facing, he prayed for the Lord to take his life (1 Kings 19:4). Elijah believed he was the only one left serving the Lord in Israel (1 Kings 19:10, 14). Yet there were others. God told him there were 7,000 in Israel who were not serving Baal. Who were they? What lessons should we learn from them?

The 7,000 in Elijah’s Day

  • We are not told much about these individuals – but there are at least three things we know about them
  • They were unknown to Elijah – humans are very limited in their perspective and knowledge; God is not limited as we are (Psalm 139:1-6); He knew of these 7,000 even though Elijah did not
  • They were a strong minority – compared to Elijah’s thought of being the only one (1 Kings 19:10, 14), 7,000 sounds like an impressive number; yet it still would have been a minority, albeit a strong minority
  • They were faithful to the Lord – the Lord indicated that these were His people, faithful to Him; they refused to worship Baal; they obeyed the commandment to worship no other gods (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 6:14)

Are We Like This Faithful Remnant?

  • The 7,000 represented a faithful remnant among the nation of Israel who had strayed from God – it is possible to be faithful when most will not (cf. Genesis 6:5-9; Joshua 24:15; Revelation 3:14); are we like this group of 7,000?
  • Not necessarily known to others (individually and in our local churches) – we are independent in that we can be faithful no matter what others do individually (Genesis 6:5-9; Joshua 24:15; Revelation 3:14) and on a congregational level (1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 4:16); we are autonomous in that we are not directly tied to other churches in our work for the Lord (1 Peter 5:2); we are added by God to the church which means we are not dependent upon the approval/knowledge of others (Acts 2:47; 8:35-39)
  • Strong minority – when we make the application here, we are not just concerned with numbers, but with strength; few will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14); yet we are strong in the Lord if we put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17); we depend upon the Lord rather than ourselves (Philippians 4:13; John 15:4-5)
  • Faithful to the Lord – we are recognized by God as being faithful by doing His will (Matthew 7:21-23); we respect the Lord’s authority (Colossians 3:17) by following the pattern given in His word (2 Timothy 1:13); we refuse to compromise or corrupt our service to God (Galatians 1:9; Luke 6:46; Revelation 3:1)

Conclusion

  • Elijah thought he was alone – but there were 7,000 servants of God in Israel; a faithful remnant
  • Are we part of that faithful remnant today? – to answer that, we need to honestly look at ourselves and humbly study the Scriptures

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