Elijah: good times, bad times
Elijah: he saw the best of times and worst of times.
For awhile it looked like he would end at the worst of times. But God…
These, some say, are the two greatest words in the Bible. We read about some bad situation with no possible solution, then the Bible says, “But God …” and the bad situation is turned to victory. Watch for it!
Elijah … and God … were on a roll
Read I Kings chapters 17 and 18. It reads like a fast-paced adventure novel. Here’s a guy, Elijah, and God Almighty talks with him almost like a football coach might, as he calls the plays and directs the moves.
Following God’s instructions,
- Elijah goes to the King (a mean one, not nice!) and says, “No rain for the next three years unless I say so!”
- Elijah, with perfect timing, skips town and hides safely from the angry king by a brook with water (and drought is on the way!)
- Ravens pull a “Meals on Wheels” every day and bring Elijah bread and flesh in the morning and again in the evening
- When the brook dries, Elijah moves to go live with a widow woman and her son — still following God’s directions throughout all
- The widow, in distress with the drought (you remember, the drought God told Elijah to declare and direct), tells Elijah she was about to fix a last supper with the last of the food for her and her son, and then … die! Elijah says, “Feed me a little first, and it will be well, because God told me the food and oil will last for the three of us until the drought ends.” COOL MIRACLE, right?!?
- The widow’s son dies. Elijah beseeches the Lord, gets another miracle, and the child is brought back to life.
- Elijah boldly shows himself to the King (who has been scouring the countryside now for THREE years trying to find Elijah to kill him) to declare rain is coming and the sore famine is about to end.
- Elijah demands of the people to make up their mind who they will obey, God or Baal, and sets up the most remarkable public demonstration of the power of God and the impotence of Baal. VICTORY! VINDICATION! (Read the record in I Kings 18. It would be a great movie all by itself!)
- Elijah rallies the fickle people of God, and takes out 450 prophets of Baal.
What a record! What power of God manifested! What proof of God’s approval! What help Elijah received! What a ministry!
But the queen (Jezebel, synonymous with EVIL) promised to get even with Elijah for taking out the 450 prophets of Baal, and swore she would see to it that Elijah got the same treatment within a day.
If it were me, I’d … why, I’d … tell Jezebel to zip it!
After all Elijah had just seen God do for him, with him, around him … you might think Elijah would feel invincible. Confident. Bold. Fearless. I’m sure you and I would, right? We have never seen God do a great work, a mighty deliverance, a loving act, a kind encouragement … and then after only a tiny time passes, we are discouraged, fearful, unthankful … small? Right?
Okay … maybe I can relate to Elijah
Our hero runs. Runs for his life. He hides in the woods. He sits down and says, “I quit. I failed. Time to die.” I think I know how he felt. Been there.
So, God is probably pretty disgusted with the quitter
But God ….
Elijah falls asleep, and gets good rest. God sends an angel after enough time has passed and wakes Elijah and serves him lunch. Elijah eats well … then goes back to sleep!
Some more time passes, he soaks up some more rest, and the angel wakes him yet again. The angel has more food for Elijah. Then he gives Elijah encouragement and direction to rise up and move on to the next amazing chapter of his life with The Lord.
No criticism, no yelling. Just “edification by way of comfort and exhortation”. God, with love and compassion, gets the man back up on his feet and brings him into glorious restoration.
So, God disgusted with Elijah? Hardly!!!!
I read this record in I Kings years ago, and it was THIS that popped out at me. With all the amazing things God and Elijah worked, this love of God to his dear servant, Elijah, lit up and thrilled me. I remembered Galatians 6:9:
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” And out popped this song. This is a promise and exhortation to us, and a reality experienced so many years ago by this wonderful man of God, Elijah
Enjoy God’s love for YOU. And I hope you get a blessin’ from the song.
Elijah was strong, his days seemed long
While he lived for God and did what he should
King Ahab was mean, and so was his queen,
They said they’d get rid of Elijah for good.
Elijah was tired and things looked rough
He fled to the woods and hid under a tree
He cried “Oh Lord, I’ve had enough,
I quit, I’m through, it’s the end of me!”
Faint not! Faint not!
Faint not when you’re weary!
Elijah got weary, and I do too
Faint not! Faint not!
God sees and remembers
God sees and remembers the things that we do.
Elijah slept soundly, the ground his bed
But an angel called him to rise up and eat
And water and food were there by his head.
Elijah ate well and then went back to sleep.
The angel awoke him a second time
“Rise up and eat, you’ve much travel to do”
Elijah rose, and started to climb,
And God was faithful to help him through.
Your thoughts, please?
Can you relate to Elijah? Has the thought of God’s faithfulness and the promise of the hope and rewards ever encouraged you? Please share in the “Leave a reply” section below.
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