Tishbe: The Nowhere That Is Somewhere



1 Kings 17:1 (NIV)

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”


The Bible is filled with stories of overwhelming wickedness and yet the living God of heaven and earth is never without witnesses. When wickedness rises in a nation, everyone suffers—especially the righteous. The righteous face the same circumstances everyone else faces (i.e., three years of drought), but they also face persecution for their uncompromising allegiance to the Word of God and the God of the Word. This is the story of the prophet Elijah. 

Elijah comes out of Tishbe, which is nowhere, appearing at the top of 1 Kings 17, after the long series of leadership disasters in chapter 16. And this is what we must finally get our minds around. We tend to think of the Bible as the story of God, with the occasional intervention of human wickedness. The Bible is actually the story of human wickedness punctuated by the overwhelming goodness and unfathomable glory of God. Let’s be clear. God prevails throughout and in the end, but it is a super dark and painful story. Think about it. We get two chapters of pure glory in Genesis 1 and 2, but from Genesis 3 on, it is one train wreck after another. Come on, right? God actually sends his one and only son and what do we do? We murder him in the most unmerciful, heinous, shameful way known to man. 

I know what you are thinking; that was them; they did that. No! Immediately no. That was us. That was you. That was me. We did that. 

There is a remarkable cast of characters on Team Yahweh but consider how few in comparison to Team World or Team Satan for that matter. On second thought, God’s team is not that remarkable. It is God who is remarkable. You realize, don’t you, that the geographical land mass at the center of the whole story (before the day of Pentecost) is roughly the size of New Jersey? Yes, God is the remarkable one. 

The good news—and it is very good—God wants us on his team: Team Jesus. Elijah is on that team. He came out of nowhere, moving, acting, speaking for God. Not only are the first words we hear from Elijah coming from God, they are coming straight from Elijah’s mouth to the king of the North. Who does that? Not Elijah, but God. 

Truth be told, Elijah didn’t come out of nowhere. He came out of a very deep somewhere. Elijah came from the heart and mind of God. Yes, back there in Tishbe, which could just as well be Little Rock or Dallas or Paint Lick, Kentucky, or (insert your town here) Elijah allowed himself to become hidden in the heart of God. Elijah had become gloriously audacious, but that’s not where he started. Tishbe is the great nowhere that actually becomes the greatest somewhere. 

This is the way, friends, the way glory becomes glory becomes glory. Before we become gloriously audacious we become gloriously humble, and before we become gloriously humble we become gloriously broken, and before we become gloriously broken we become gloriously honest, and before we become gloriously honest we become gloriously awakened, before we become gloriously awakened . . . well . . . you tell me. I’d say we are asleep, maybe upstanding citizens of the republic, maybe not; maybe good church-goers, maybe not; maybe active albeit secret doers of wickedness, maybe just passive participants, maybe just observant complainers. The most essential thing is to be where you actually are—not where you think you should be; not where you wish you were; not where you once were; but right where you are. This is the great nowhere that becomes the greatest somewhere. 

As for us, we are going to that very deep somewhere and deeper in. Let’s go Team Jesus! 

This is the way—from glory to glory. 


Abba Father, this is our prayer. Lead us to this deep somewhere, where awakening to glory begins to grow by degrees. Take us into the secret chambers of your heart and mind. Reorder our affections. Deepen our availability to you. I know there are broken places to be healed. I know I don’t want to go another year in my life without giving you access to those places. Holy Spirit, thank you for assuring me this is the way. Praying in Jesus’ name, amen. 


Where is your somewhere? Are you ready to go the hidden place with Jesus? Where would you locate yourself in the journey? asleep, awakened, honest, broken, healing, humble, audacious, other??? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.


  1. “Where am I on this journey?”. That’s the “64 dollar “ question that becomes our wake-up call. I believe that until we can honestly answer that question, we’re stopped somewhere on the side of the road trying to figure out where we missed the exit. Fortunately we have in our possession God’s road map, His Word, and people like you, JD, to help us interpret it. Thanks.

  2. Neither dew nor rain? That equals dry. Bone dry. Our souls are dry with sin, and sin sucks us dry. We search the world for ways to quench our soul’s thirst. Every human being is born thirsty. Nothing in the world will quench that thirst because it is a spiritual thirst for a life lived free. A cry for Jesus.
    John 4:14
    “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

  3. JD – well put!!!!!! the Spirit of God indeed was in your every word today. Fill us Lord Jesus, or should i say continue to fill all of us – JD, me and all who read this, with your blessed Holy spirit. continue to empower us., to live and act and BE your Word manifest. Amen
    and thank you, Lord Jesus, for your servant JD walt.

  4. I dunno, sometimes it doesn’t seem that linear. Sometimes I feel one sometimes another. I know if I take my eyes off Jesus I straight away begin to fall asleep again. I know if I am not humble, if I begin to think I am healing myself, I begin to break again. Having said that the general movement is still forwards. So where am I now?…. I’d say still somewhere between healing and humble, but with a smattering of audacious flickering on the horizon. Praise Him for being my motivator, map, guide, and destination.

  5. Julie,
    I believe you are describing a battle in spiritual warfare. One that everyone is in. I’m learning to view these battles I’m in from a different perceptive, from the right hand of God, with Jesus.
    Colossians 3:1
    If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
    Isaiah 41:10
    Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
    Staying 💪’N Christ