Today’s readings.. (1 kings 19), (Jeremiah 45), (Jeremiah 46), (1 Corinthians 4), (1 Corinthians 5)
Elijah showed he was a man of great faith when he challenged the wicked king Ahab on Mount Carmel, fire miraculously burnt up his offering and 450 prophets of Baal were killed. Then three and a half years of drought came dramatically to an end! But after that he had a remarkable collapse of faith. We suspect that, after the remarkable climax of events on Mt Carmel he thought everything was going to be easier now and his intense faith in God relaxed.
Not so, in today’s chapter (I Kings 19), when Jezebel declares her intention to kill him because he had caused the death of her 450 prophets, Elijah’s confidence in serving the LORD suddenly collapses and he runs for his life.
He says to God, “It is enough now O LORD, take away my life for I am no better than my fathers.” [v.14] But the end result is that he finds God in a more personal way than ever before. Food is miraculously provided for him and after 40 days (interesting that period, the same as Moses spent on the mountain with God) he comes to “Horeb, the mount of God.” [v.8] where Moses had received the law.
He lodges in a cave [v.9] and there he experiences the awesome power of God. He thinks he is the only faithful person left in Israel and is told there are 7,000 in Israel who have not bowed the knee to worship Baal (v.18). As he hides in the cave there is a strong wind, strong enough to break the rocks, then an earthquake and then a fire! Awesome, it is rather parallel to God’s judgements on the world at the end of this age when Jesus is about to come.
After all this he hears a whispering voice [v.11,12] so he stands in the entrance to the cave and receives new commands of the work he still has to do for the LORD.
So Elijah found God and experienced a relationship with God in greater measure after the events on Mt. Carmel. The lesson for us? If we are totally committed to serving God, he will never let us go. If things go wrong in our life, it is a prelude to having a closer relationship with God and serving him and his Son in an even more intimate manner.
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