The ministry of Elijah tells the remarkable way God preserved faith when it was about to die in Israel forever. Ahab was king: he did more evil than all the kings before him. His wife, Jezebel, was killing God's prophets. All Israel was worshipping Baal. It was at this darkest hour that God raised up Elijah. On Mount Carmel Elijah proved once-for-all that the Lord is God, not Baal. But it didn't work. Israel kept worshipping Baal. In Israel we see ourselves. It's not just our culture: our hearts keep chasing idols! One greater than Elijah would have to come to rescue God's people from idolatry. Elijah is simply Christ's torchbearer.
In our mission to spread the gospel, it is easy to lose hope. We see the obstacles (in ourselves, in our culture), but have we seen God?