(1 Kings 19:1-21)
1Kings 19:9-10 KJV
9 …What doest thou here, Elijah?
10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
1 Kings 19 is a chapter in Elijah’s life and history when he was at his lowest state. Elijah’s complaint showed how much he wants to hear God commend his bravery and doggedness. Instead, the Lord permitted Elijah to step out of his busyness and activities, to Mount Horeb – the mountain of God.
Did Elijah know that the issue was that he needed to know more from God and not really about the enemy? Elijah was seeking victory and vengeance. He was so sure of what he knew that he sought to die. He seemed to be sure that there was no other way than the one he knew.
God was going to give victory and vengeance but not in Elijah’s way – Only in God’s way. For Jezebel to be destroyed, baal to be completely silenced, and Ahab to be completely checkmated, God would do that… but in His own way and not Elijah’s way.
Many a time, when tribulations arise and we seem to perceive that help is not coming from God, all we need to do may be to step out of the complexities of the happenings, away from our perceived busyness, and activities – to Mount Horeb, a place with God.
Can we imagine, the kind of victory Elijah was expecting to receive from Mount Horeb? Contrary to that, what he would get was learning how to listen to God’s still voice. Yes, listening to that still voice. That was what would help him. It is much easier to hear God’s loud voice than to hear His still voice. Especially, in tempestuous times when enemies’ threatening voices are very loud. Or when our prideful thoughts and voices are so loud. We talk, talk, and talk to God because we think we know what to say instead of being quiet to hear from Him. Again, we think, we are aware of what we do not know. Meaning that we can say, “What I don’t know is this. If I can know it, I’ll figure out the remaining ones”. Is this always true? Do we always really know what we think we do not know? Or could it be that we will be better with admitting that we do not know what we do not know? Or more importantly, we should humbly submit to God to hear from Him.
Why will the Lord ask Elijah why Elijah was at Horeb (1 Kings 19:13)? Why will God still repeat the same question? “Elijah, why are you here”? And Elijah answered the question the same way as the first time.
Could it be that something was wrong with Elijah’s intention and answers? Can we see a resemblance between this pattern and our Lord Jesus’ questions to Peter at River Tiberias, in John 21? First, when the Lord asks us a question, He asks not because He does not know the answer but He asks for us to revisit our intention and ponder on our answer. He does so to bring our attention to what we think we know while in the real sense, we do not know.
Now, this is God’s answer:
15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
Did God answer Elijah as Elijah wanted? No! God answered Elijah with what Elijah did not know. Not knowing such a thing brought him to that lowest point in His life. Are you obeying God as you want? Or as He wants? Are you working with God as if you are partnering with Him? Remember, we are to work for Him as faithful servants. Not as if we know what He will do but as a servant that has only one thing to do “just obey”. We should not obey as if we know all God will or should be doing. We should obey Him knowing that we do not know what He will do or is doing – because truly we do not know. We just obey. We are not obeying as robots will do, but as a child who trusts and loves his or her parent.
Is what you do not know about God or His will troubling your faith? Or do you think that you know and have done all the needful but enemies’ threats are raging and God has delayed? This is a call to realize what part spiritual pride has played so far in our exploits for God. A call to repentance and confession. A call to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. A call to reveal to us that there are things we are not aware of that we do not know about God. Whereas that very thing is the culprit threatening our faith and not just the ranting of enemies that we hear. What was threatening Elijah’s faith was not Jezebel’s voice. It was what Elijah did not know about God that was threatening him.
1) Remember where you have fallen,
2) Remember how you did a lot all by yourself, without relying on God because you think “I can”,
3) Was there a time of spiritual pride as it happened to Elijah?
4) Do you think that you need time with God?
5) Are you open to hearing from God as someone who does not know what God would say, or you are waiting to hear what you think you know that He would say?
1) This week, we do not have specific prayer points. Each and everyone is expected to seek God’s face as led by the Holy Spirit. Not as one who checks himself in the mirror and forgets how he looks (James 1:21-25) but as one holding unto the mercy of Jesus, pleading for a fresh encounter and instructions.
May the grace, mercy, compassion, and favour of the Lord be multiplied upon us all, in Jesus name. Amen.