1 Kings 19: 1-18
Wednesday, 21 December 2022
The Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way…, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint…’ -1 Kings 19:15
Today’s reading is a vital part of Prophet Elijah’s ministry that most of us can identify with at some level. God withheld rain and later sent rain by Elijah’s prayer. He witnessed God’s provision through ravens at the brook Cherith and through the widow at Zarephath. Chapter 18 closes on a note of great triumph in Elijah’s ministry - calling down fire from heaven to witness the Almighty Lord to the Israelites and the Baal worshippers, answered prayers for rain and special power to overtake Ahab.
One would think that a prophet who has experienced such magnificent power of the Lord, couldn’t possibly hit rock bottom! However, Elijah was just as human as you and me and was overwhelmed by the queen’s threats. But it is in those weak and dejected moments of life that we truly get to know the great God we serve! If you feel you are at a point of hopeless failure, do not linger in your hopelessness, but trust God.
God’s Plan: This mighty man of prayer, now prays that His life would be taken away (V. 4)! Praise God for unanswered prayers in our life. In our pain and sorrow, sometimes we pray against the will of God. If God were to answer our emotional, broken prayers, we will not fulfill the ministry and calling upon our lives. God was not done with Elijah and He is not done with you today! There was a further ministry (Vs 15-17) and a reward (2 Kings 2:11) that was God’s plan for Elijah. God’s purpose for your life is still unfolding – wait on Him and be strengthened.
God’s Protection: Jezebel’s threat of imminent death terrified the prophet. Elijah’s fleeing was not just from the clutches of the wicked queen, but from the very purpose of God. His fear made him lose focus of who his Defender was. If the world threatens you, hide under the Lord’s protection. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2).
God’s Provision: In a time of despair and fatigue, God cared for Elijah’s physical needs with sleep and food and sent an angel to minister to him. God knows human frailty better than we ourselves do (Psalm 103:8) and He graciously gives us rest and rejuvenation before the next assignment.
God’s Power: Elijah walked over 200 miles to Mount Sinai, not just in the nourishment of food, but in the very power of God that strengthened him. His 40 days of walk through the wilderness, similar to the 40 years of wilderness walk for the Israelites, was a time of spiritual revival. If you are in a season of wilderness walk, remember God is mentoring you for the powerful ministry ahead. Allow the power of God to work in you and mold you.
God’s Presence: In solitude on the Mount Sinai, God spoke to Elijah - gently the Omniscient Lord asked Elijah what he was doing there, and allows him to vent out his frustration. Knowing Elijah’s discouraged mind frame, God encourages and builds him up through a personal encounter. We often expect God to reveal Himself through mighty miraculous signs like the windstorm, earthquake and fire. But often God’s presence is experienced in the still small voice, the gentle whisper that our hearts have to be tuned for. Through this personal encounter God empowered Elijah for the new commission (Vs 15-18).
Just as Elijah was led to believe that he was the only prophet left in Israel, we often fall for the enemy’s deceiving tactics and lose focus of the Kingdom work. If we have wandered in despair like Elijah, let us yield to the power and presence of God and the truth of His word to restore us to His calling on our lives.
Think on: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)