Wow! This section of readings, considered in their greater scriptural context, reveal much about the nature of God, the work of ministry and the emotions of a prophet. Elijah had shown great courage at Mount Carmel in facing the wickedness of his day. He saw God’s mighty works not only in calling fire down from heaven, but also in sending rain upon a parched nation. As we enter 1 Kings 19 the courage previously shown by Elijah seems to melt away as he is filled with fear and flees for his life. In pondering this, one might be left scratching their head and wondering how such a drastic swing could happen within the heart of a servant of God. Yet, if we are totally honest, we too might be able to identify these swings in our own lives. Have you ever seen God move powerfully in your life only to be quickly distracted by something else?
Elijah’s enemy (as does ours) wanted to direct the thoughts of the prophet away from his God. The enemy succeeded momentarily as Elijah took to heart the threats made against him and yielded to fear as he fled and hid at Sinai. The loving and restorative nature of God is seen here as he asks repeatedly: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Has God ever asked you that question? Discouragement and fear can sometimes lead us into emotional places that God did not want for us.
Between the questions God gives Elijah a tangible reminder that He was not just a powerful God, but also a personal God. Elijah knew God’s power but, for whatever reason, concluded that God didn’t care about him. This almost seems crazy to those of us reading about the account, but on closer examination, I think I have done this same thing a time or two. How about you?
One day we too will be caught up in the heavens much like Elijah in 2 Kings 2. But until that day, we must recognize or strengths and weaknesses and continue to rely upon God’s grace and daily guidance. If you’re in a spiritual low spot, know that God will reaffirm His love for you not in power, but in person.