“I have had enough, Lord, take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Elijah had just seen God destroy hundreds of Baal’s prophets. This made old Jezebel angry and so she declared to kill Elijah. In spite of being on God’s appointed mission and seeing how God was helping him carry out His plans, Elijah was afraid of Jezebel, so he ran away some 100 miles south and came to Beersheba where he sat down under a broom tree. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said, “take my life; I am not better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
An angel appeared to him and encouraged him, so he traveled further south 40 days and nights until he reached Horeb (probably Sinai) where he went into a cave and spent the night.
The Lord must have felt like He was having to push Elijah to carry out His divine plans when He asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Then Elijah answered, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
God continues to push Elijah as He tells Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Not until Elijah heard a gentle whisper did he “pull his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”
God again asks, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Discouraged Elijah repeats the same answer he gave earlier, still adding, “I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me too.” Elijah was discouraged and felt like he was the only one who had remained faithful to the Lord. What he did not know was that God had reserved 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed down to Baal.
As we struggle in our short journey through this world we are much like Elijah in that we sometimes get tired and discouraged and feel like we are alone in our battles. Then we remember our God saying, “I will never leave or forsake you.” We remember His wonderful promises He has made to us and the many blessings we enjoy. We pray for stronger faith and for strength to handle our challenges. We make the futile attempts to really look at our spiritual blessings, that indeed are many, and then we are able to begin to win the fight with discouragement. (~~ I Kings 19)
~~ E.M. Walling, News Letter Editor, Churches of Christ – Disaster Relief Effort, Inc.