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ELIJAH SERIES: PROPHET ON THE RUN

May 14, 2022

1 King 19 revealed after King Ahab shared the news of the Mount Carmel event and Elijah’s killing of all the prophets of Baal, infuriated Jezebel sent a message to Elijah. It said, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” Consequently, Elijah, the man who boldly declared a three-year drought to the king in chapter 17 and had stood alone against all the worshippers of Baal in chapter 18, became fearful of Jezebel. This man who trusted in God to feed him at the brook of Cherith, to feed him and the widow’s family in Zarephath, and to raise the widow’s son from the dead, apparently lost his confidence in God to keep him safe.

Elijah escaped from Jezreel and left his servant in Beersheba while going alone into the Negev wilderness. After traveling for a day, he found a Juniper tree and sat under it. It was there he requested to die. Tired emotionally and physically, Elijah fell asleep until he was awakened by an angel who had prepared a cake along with water for him. Elijah ate and fell back to sleep until he was awakened a second time by the angel with similar nourishments for him to consume.

Leaving there, Elijah traveled for forty days to Mount Sinai and entered a cave. It was here that God finally addressed Him with this question, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” Elijah responded, “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 told Elijah to come out of the cave, which he did not do. God passed by, and first, there was a strong wind, then an earthquake followed by fire. After the fire, God spoke in a still, small voice. Elijah responded by wrapping his face in his mantle and going and standing at the cave entrance. Again God repeated His same question to Elijah, and Elijah gave Him the same answer.

God did not reject Elijah because of his behavior or answer, but he gave him the task of anointing three men. Elijah was to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria, anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Israel, and anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat to be his prophetic successor. Additionally, He told Elijah, “And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”

Elijah left the cave with this information and went to the Jordan valley, where he found Elisha in his field plowing behind twelve oxen. Elijah cast his mantel on Elisha as he passed by him. Knowing what that meant, Elisha requested permission to say farewell to his parents before accompanying Elijah. Hence Elisha returned home, slew a yoke of oxen, and gave the meat to his people. Then he reconnected with Elijah and became his attendant and eventual successor.  

As I’ve done in the previous blog, I suggest you read 1 Kings 19 to gain detailed information about Elijah’s journey. I believe this chapter shows the frailty of man and the necessity of guarding your thoughts. Additionally, this is an excellent chapter to study when you want insight into emotional and mental health. I will not go into an in-depth analysis of Elijah’s mental status; however, I will share a few of my thoughts.

  • Fear often displaces faith when crises occur.
  • In this life, you will sometimes have mountain top victories, which lead to emotional highs, and valley failures that lead to emotional lows.
  • Like Elijah, we can be exhilarated one day about God’s anointing and supernatural move in our lives, and the next day an incident can erase the previous day’s feelings. Depression and fear because things did not turn out the way we expected is a common human experience. Undoubtedly, Elijah thought after the great display of God’s power, King Ahab, Jezebel, and Israel would be repentant and want to please and serve God. Instead, he finds he is still considered an enemy, which leads to his despair. When things appear to fall apart in your life, are you affected mentally and emotionally?
  • When you want to lose hope, remember the great things God did for you in your time of need.
  • Before giving into fear, consult with God for direction. Practice Philippians 4:6-8, Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
  • Isolation can prove detrimental to your mental health. While on the run, Elijah separated himself from human contact, which was counterproductive for his well-being. When you are going through life battles, it is wise to have people around you who can encourage and strengthen you.
  • Being physically and emotionally strained can lead to wrong decisions and a desire to die.
  • Elijah needed rest and nourishment for his journey, and so do you.
  • When you are depressed, your perception becomes blurred.
  • God can do the spectacular as well as simple things. He operates in various modes. He is not one-dimensional.
  • God doesn’t need to do the spectacular to show us He is present
  • Amid the turbulence, listen for the still small voice of God
  • Even though Obadiah, King Ahab’s governor, had told Elijah he hid one hundred prophets in a cave from Jezebel and provided for them during the drought, Elijah’s mind was fixated on the thought that there was no other prophet alive. After saying this three times, God corrected him. For us, we must realize that despite all the evil going on in this world against believers, God will always have a remnant.
  • When in error, God enlightens us with the truth.
  • God did not address Elijah’s despondency, and it is possible He may not address yours. Unlike Elijah, we have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, and God expects us to use the tools the He has provided for our success.
  • God uses who He will to bring judgment.
  • God prepares men for their assignments.

From → ELIJAH SERIES

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