Elijah! What a mighty life he led! In just a couple of chapters, it went like this…
*He promised no rain for years because Ahab was such an evil king. Then, the Lord told him to leave there and hide by the Brook Cherith, where He would command the ravens to feed him.
*The brook eventually dried up from lack of rain and the Lord led him to Zarephath to help a widow woman and her son, to perform the miracle of unending flour and oil until the rain returned and bring her dead son back to life.
*Then, the Lord sent him to Samaria, where Elijah ordered all of Israel and the prophets to gather at Mount Carmel. He admonished them for following both God and Baal and to make up their minds. He then prepared a test for the prophets to see whose god was real. God showed up and proved He was the one and only true God. Elijah then slew all the prophets of Baal and Asherah.
*Elijah went to Mount Carmel and “bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees” (1 Kings 18:42b-43 NKJV), asking his servant to look toward the sea for evidence. In expectation and not looking at his surroundings, he trusted God to bring the rain back. On the seventh try, the rain cloud appeared!
*Jezebel sent him a message saying he would be just as dead as the prophets by the next day. Not trusting God, Elijah “ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:3 NKJV) in fear of Jezebel. He ran to the wilderness, sat under a broom tree, and prayed. Did he pray for strength? No! He prayed, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life!” (1 Kings 19:4a NKJV)
Twice, the Lord sent an angel to take care of him, bringing food and water to refresh him. Then, the angel told him once more to eat and drink “because the journey is too great for you.” (1 Kings 19:7 NKJV)
Fortified for 40 days and 40 nights, he went to Horeb and hid in a cave. Twice, the Lord asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9 NKJV) And twice, Elijah replied, “I have worked very hard for the Lord God of the heavens.” (1 Kings 19:10 TLB) And he lamented over the waywardness of God’s people.
The Lord then sent him back the way he came, back on the “path of practical duty. His mission is not yet over, there is still work for him to do.” (Barnes’ Notes) The Lord restored Elijah, recommissioning him for his work.
Do you see anything of your own life in all that?
When something great happens in our lives, when we have a good day, or when we have accomplished some good in the world for the Lord, many times, discouragement follows. The enemy tosses fear or discouragement at us. Bad news comes or some trial or heartache arises.
When trials press sore against us and the knees of our faith begin to collapse, when we’re about to faint physically and spiritually, when we feel like running away, David reminds us, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed.” (Ps. 27:13 NKJV)
The Lord is gracious. He is our Defender, our Deliverer, our Refresher. He replenishes us for another long journey. For the work ahead. For our mission is never over.
Paul exhorts us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6 NKJV) And always in expectation!
Come out from under your broom tree! Keep your faith on Mount Carmel!
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