Summary: The story of Elijah, his success and his fear. His false assumption that he is all alone. How God spoke to him and to us in a gentle whisper. Today we hear the gentle whisper of the Gospel.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Way, way back in early 1970’s there was a singing group known as the Raspberries. One of the members of that group was a fellow by the name of Eric Carmen. He went solo in 1976 and wrote a song, the chorus of which, could have very well been sung by the main character in today’s OT lesson.
Now most of you here remember the 1970’s, but most of you probably don’t remember the Raspberries and I’m sure that you’ve never even heard of Eric Carmen. Perhaps you’ve heard of Celine Dion. She sang this song for a semi-popular movie back in 1995, “Clueless.”
Still don’t have a clue?
Well, the title of the song was “All by Myself”, and the chorus went like this:
All by myself, don’t wanna be
All by myself, don’t wanna live
All by myself anymore.
This was how Elijah the prophet was feeling when he was encountered, hunkered down in a cave, by the Lord God Almighty.
This morning, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we’ll discover why Elijah was in that cave, why he was feeling the way he did, and most importantly, what the final words from God have to say to Elijah and to us.
For those of you who have been attending the Wednesday evening Bible class, or who have been following along with the readings, some of this may be a little review, as we just finished studying the book of 1 Kings. But this is such as fascinating story and Elijah is such an intriguing character of the OT, it would be a shame to pass over this opportunity to talk about and learn from him.
Let’s go back a little ways and find out what in the heck Elijah is doing in this cave.
We’re introduced to Elijah in the 17th Chapter of the book of 1st Kings and the little confrontation we read about here pretty well sets the stage for Elijah’s time on this earth as God’s prophet.
Ahab is the current King of Israel. That’s the northern portion of the Promised Land. And Ahab is not a good king. This was what was written about him: “Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him.”
What made him particularly evil, was the fact that he had married a woman by the name of Jezebel and had started to, not only worship her god, Baal, but to establish altars and serve this false god.
So Elijah is given the task, by God, to go tell him this: "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."
God then instructs Elijah to leave. Probably a good idea, because at that point he became an enemy of the king.
The drought came and all of the people of Israel suffered. But Elijah was taken care of. Each morning and evening, ravens brought him bread and meat and he drank from a brook, the very brook that God had led him to.
It’s a little more than ironic when you compare Elijah to the people of Israel…no, not the one’s that were starving now….but the ones that Yahweh had delivered from Egypt. The ones that God had provided for as they wandered in the desert for 40 years, feeding them with manna from heaven and sustaining them with water from a rock. The ones that had not relied on themselves, but had put themselves in God’s loving hands and depended on His grace for their survival.
Time went by and the brook dried up. Some might ask, “is this when he went to the cave?”
No, there was more work to be done for the Lord.
Elijah was then sent north to the area known as Sidon. The drought and the famine are still ongoing in the land of Israel.
And I must tell you, my friends, that what we see happen next in the life of Elijah is one of the great acts of faith recorded in the Scriptures. And it has nothing to do with Elijah.
Elijah encounters a woman. God had told him that she would be there. But God didn’t necessarily give Elijah the details. He just said that this woman would supply him with food.
The woman happens to be widow with a one young son. When Elijah meets her he asks for a drink and something to eat. She explains to him that she has only enough left to eat for one meal….one meal for herself and her son. They’re going to eat it together and then die.