Elijah had executed the pagan priests. Now, Jezebel vowed to execute Elijah. “May the gods punish me and do so severely if I don’t make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow!” (1 Kings 19:2).
“Then Elijah became afraid and immediately ran for his life... He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He said, ‘I have had enough! Lord, take my life, for I’m no better than my ancestors.’ Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree” (1 Kings 19:3-5).
God had miraculously provided for Elijah during the famine. At Cherith, ravens had delivered bread and meat twice daily. At Zarephath, the widow’s flour bin and the oil jar had never run dry. At Mt. Carmel, Elijah had called down fire from heaven and defeated his foes, and God had sent a downpour ending the forty-two month-long drought. Elijah had seen God’s powerful protection and provision, yet Elijah ran like a sissy and pouted and puckered like a spoiled baby. “Just leave me alone! Life isn’t going my way, and I just want to die!”
I’ve never seen my picture on a “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster. Elijah did, and he ran for the hills. I probably would too.
Notice what God didn’t do before you see what He did. God didn’t yank him up and give him a whippin. God didn’t throw a lightning bolt in Elijah’s direction. God didn’t get mad, and God didn’t get even. Rather, God sent an angel who delivered super-natural nourishment.
“Suddenly, an angel touched him. The angel told him, ‘Get up and eat.’ Then he looked, and there at his head was a loaf of bread baked over hot stones, and a jug of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the angel of the Lordreturned for a second time and touched him. He said, ‘Get up and eat, or the journey will be too much for you.’ So he got up, ate, and drank. Then on the strength from that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God” (1 Kings 19:5–8).
In God’s power and at God’s direction, Elijah travelled more than three-hundred miles south, into the Sinai Wilderness, to the mountain where God had, generations earlier, met Moses. It was there, on that holy mountain, that God revealed Himself to Elijah.
First, God sent a devastating wind. Next, God sent an earthquake. Then, God sent a fire. These demonstrated God’s power, but God’s message came in a whispered word. “Go to Damascus,” God said, “and anoint a new king for Syria. Then, return to Samaria and anoint a new king over Israel. Lastly, find a dude named Elisha, and anoint him as your successor” (1 Kings 19:11-17). God had a plan. He hadn’t lost His grip. Elijah wasn’t alone!
Have you ever felt alone, like God has lost your address? He hasn’t! You can be certain that He hasn’t given up on you and that He has a plan and a purpose for your life. Really!
God took a suicidal, runaway prophet, and made him a king-maker. What’s next in your journey?