The prophet Elijah is one of God’s superstars in the Bible. He walked with God and did amazing works. But even Elijah got tired and discouraged. This song is about Elijah almost fainting in a down time and about how beautifully and tenderly God eased him back into the joy of life. This Bible record speaks volumes about God’s wonderful care — not just for the monumental challenges in the affairs of mankind, but also for the hearts and souls of each of His dear children. Give “Faint Not” a sing-along listen, then come back for more on God’s goodness and tenderness to each of us.
Elijah on a mission for God
I Kings chapters 17, 18 and 19 read like a fast-paced adventure novel. Following God’s instructions, Elijah rebukes evil king Ahab, declaring “No rain or dew until I say so!” Elijah immediately goes into hiding from the king, skipping town and setting up camp by a brook as the drought develops. God uses ravens to deliver food to Elijah. Eventually the brook dries up and Elijah, still following God’s directions, relocates to the dwelling of a widow woman and her son. While there he provides miraculous food and even raises the widow’s son from the dead.
WOW! God was certainly working with and through Elijah!
Meanwhile, for three years evil King Ahab scours the countryside searching for Elijah so he could haul him in to fix the drought — by force if necessary. Finally, Elijah boldly shows himself to the King to declare rain is coming and the sore famine is about to end. That led to the big showdown — Queen Jezebel’s 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah versus God’s one lone prophet, Elijah.
Elijah sets up the most remarkable public demonstration of the power of God and the impotence of Baal. Elijah demands the children of Israel watch and make up their minds who they will obey, God or Baal. The children of Israel witness a remarkable contest which clearly exposes the false prophets’ weakness and arrogance. God and Elijah are VICTORIOUS and VINDICATED! Elijah seizes the occasion and rallies the fickle people of God. That day Jezebel’s evil prophets — hundreds — finished their tours of duty abruptly. (We see that corrupt advisors supporting a corrupt government is not a modern invention. We rejoice that God is still able to bring such dramatic changes to pass in a single day! We are confident God is not done yet!)
What a record! What power of God manifested! What proof of God’s approval! What help Elijah received! What a ministry! What a victory!
But the queen (Jezebel, synonymous with EVIL) promised to get even with Elijah for bringing about God’s judgement on HER wicked, lying prophets. She swore Elijah would get the same treatment within a day. YIKES?!?
If it were me, I’d … why, I’d … tell Jezebel to zip it!
Wouldn’t you think after all Elijah had seen God do for him and with him that Elijah would feel invincible? Confident? Bold? Fearless?
I’m sure you and I would be bold, right? After all, none of us have ever seen God do a great work, a mighty deliverance, a loving act or a kind encouragement, and then — after only a tiny time passed — WE were discouraged, fearful or unthankful. Right?
But our hero is distressed and runs for his life! He hides in the woods and wails, “I quit. I failed. It is time to die.”
So, God is probably disgusted with the quitter, right?
But God — the “two greatest words in the Bible” — but God UNDERSTANDS we are human, and is SO loving and kind.
After Elijah says “I QUIT” he curls up for a long nap and gets good rest. At the right time God sends an angel, who wakes Elijah and serves him lunch. Elijah eats well and then goes back to sleep.
After awhile, the angel returns to wake him and serve more food. This time the angel shows a much refreshed Elijah his next steps, directing him 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 exhortation and comfort. God, with love and compassion, lifts the man back up to his feet.
So, was God disgusted with Elijah? Hardly! Much to learn here about God’s goodness and, maybe, about our own attitudes.
Faint not at well doing
I read this record in I Kings years ago, and was struck by God’s great love and care for His dear — but distressed — servant Elijah. 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.” Out popped this song.
Paul wrote in Ephesians that we were created in Christ Jesus unto good works. When we walk in the abilities that are bundled with the new birth, good works are going to happen. We were re-born to be able to do them! God sees and remembers each and every one of them that we do. He enjoys when His design for us gets put to work!
People wonder if bad works we sometimes crank out cancel any good we might do. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that all our works are tried by fire; the bad get burned up and the good remain — and get added to our “account”. We can’t take them with us, but we can send them on ahead. Let’s stack up good works!
“Let us not be weary in well doing …” is BOTH 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. Faint not — and REAP!
God bless you lots!
-Dale R. 😊
LYRICS: Faint Not
Song by Dale Reichel (2011)
Elijah was strong against evil and wrong
He lived for God and did all he could.
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 good things we do.
Elijah slept soundly, the ground his bed
But an angel told 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 His promises of the hope and rewards ever encouraged you? Please share in the “Leave a reply” section below.
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