When Elijah was born I said that I was going to post a little more about why we chose that name later. The short version is that we think the Prophet Elijah is really great and if I was a little boy I would want to be named after somebody like him.

The Prophet Elijah’s story is recorded in the Bible in 1st and 2nd Kings. Israel is in a dark place worshipping the false god Baal under the leadership of King Ahab, who is described as being the most evil king ever.  Elijah arrives on the scene with no backstory and immediately tells Ahab off, causes a famine and disappears with no explanation. A few years later he shows back up with no warning and challenges the prophets of Baal to a kind of “pray off”. The idea being that both sides pray that their god will send down fire to burn up some ox parts on an altar, and the god that actually does it is the real God. This is a pretty bold move on his part, especially when you consider that the loser of the debate, in this case the prophets of Baal, actually get MURDERED! After Elijah’s God proves to be the real God he has the people of Israel chop the other guys up into little pieces.

It’s not the “murdering people who disagree with me” part that inspired us to name our son after Elijah though, it was his uncompromising commitment to what is right. In a situation where the odds were stacked against him to an almost comically ridiculous degree and he was alone in his opinion, he stood up for what was right with real boldness. He risked everything and the result was a change of heart in thousands of people.

We want Elijah to grow up hearing that story. We want him to grow up hearing about his namesake’s conviction and boldness and know that people are supposed to be like that. Hopefully his name will remind him of what it’s supposed to look like when a person really believes in something.