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THE LONELINESS TEST

February 14, 2015

LONELINESS = A feeling of disconnectedness or isolation and is usually based on the perception of a person’s relationship with others.  Also feelings of loneliness have been linked to an assortment of physical, emotional, and mental health issues.

In 1Kings 17 Elijah told King Ahab there would be no rain in the land until he spoke the word for it to come. Three years later after living in Cherith and Zarephath, God instructs him to go to the King and inform him, “God will send rain upon the earth.” During his absence Elijah did not know what was happening in the land of Samaria and to his fellow prophets; however, while on his way to the king he was informed by Obadiah the governor of Ahab’s house how Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, and how he took an hundred prophets, hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water. Also Elijah was told that King Ahab had desperately searched for him in every nation and kingdom.

When Elijah and King Ahab meet Elijah tells the king to gather unto Mount Carmel: Israel, the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of the groves which eat at Jezebel’s table. When all are assembled Elijah says, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.  Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God (1 kings18: 21-24).”

The prophets of Baal followed his instructions and called on the name of Baal from morning until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. They cried loudly, and cut themselves with knives and lancets till the blood gushed out, however they received no response from their god.

Elijah took twelve stones and built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he made a trench about the altar which he filled with water. He cut the bullock in pieces, and laid it on the wood which he had placed in order on the altar and then he had people fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood three times. Elijah prayed this prayer to God, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again (1 Kings 18:36-37).” The response to this prayer was God sent fire that consumed the burnt sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When this happened the people fell down and said, “The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God. Elijah had the people gather all the prophets of Baal and he slew them at the brook Kishon. Then he told Ahab to eat some food and go home because it was going to rain and just like Elijah said it happened.

When King Ahab got home he told his wife Jezebel all that Elijah had done including slaying all the prophets of Baal. This infuriated Jezebel and she sent a message to Elijah telling him she was going to kill him. In fear Elijah fled to Beersheba and then into the wilderness where he prayed and asked God to take his life. Exhausted Elijah fell asleep and slept until an angel woke him, and had him eat. Elijah went back to sleep and the angel came again the second time, woke him, and had him eat again. After eating these energizing meals Elijah was able to travel forty days and forty nights unto Mount Horeb without eating again.

“What doest thou here, Elijah?” is the word of the Lord which came to him while he is lodging in a cave in Mount Horeb. Elijah response was, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” God had Elijah stand on the mount where he experiences a great strong wind renting the mountains, and then an earthquake, followed by a fire. God in a still small voice repeats his question to Elijah with Elijah repeating the same answer. God then gives him instructions, tells him about future events in Israel and lets him know he is not the only person serving him for He had seven thousand in Israel which have not bowed down to Baal. With this information Elijah leaves the mount and goes forward obeying the instructions that he had received from the Lord.

Elijah had been isolated from fellow believers for several years. Except for himself, he thought no one was serving God. He was feeling lonely and thusly experiencing emotional, physical, and mental issues. He viewed Jezebel as being more powerful than God. He knew God could provide him with shelter and food but questioned His ability to keep him protected. He allowed his thoughts and feelings to erase from his mind what God had done for him and with him. He allowed himself to fall into a state of depression. He failed the loneliness test.

Loneliness can be used as a weapon of the enemy to draw us into a state of depression. Therefore, during these periods of loneliness/isolation we must guard our minds, read the Word and apply it to our lives. We must remember despite what we may be experiencing that God is with us. We may be isolated from people but we are never isolated from God. Finally, God may manifest His presence in a demonstrative manner but he often speaks to us in a still small voice.

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From → Test Series

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