Summary: Part 4 from the series Elijah
Today we’re wrapping up our series on the life of Elijah.
If you have your Bibles, open up to
I Kings, chapter 19.
I don’t know if you heard the story about Beethoven’s funeral.
They were standing at the gravesite,
and the pastor is preaching the funeral service,
and all the sudden people heard the sound of Beethovens 5th symphony.
They’re looking around, trying to find the source of the music,
but there’s nothing in sight,
besides which it sounds like the music is coming from the casket.
Well, next thing they know, that music stops, but now they hear Beethovens 4th symphony. And now they’re really creeped out.
Then they hear the 3rd symphony, then the 2nd,
and by now everybody is so worked up and agitated that the pastor can’t even preach.
So he stops right in the middle of the funeral, and says,
people would you just relax.
Its not a big deal,
its just Beethoven decomposing.
3 weeks ago was the story of
Elijah being fed by ravens,
then making a little flour and oil feed a family for months,
and then raising a widow’s son from the dead,
2 weeks ago we talked about how
Elijah had one of the greatest victories ever on Mount Carmel,
God does a huge miracle, sends fire from heaven
to burn an offering,
Last week we saw that Elijah prayed for rain
in the middle of a drought, and a heavy rain came,
So there’s been one miracle after another,
in Elijah’s life,
God is working in all these supernatural ways,
so you would just expect that now,
after all this cool stuff,
Elijah is gonna be at the top of his game,
he’s gonna be pumped
and ready to take on anyone,
watch out for Elijah, right?
Well, actually the opposite happens.
Elijah now enters a very low point in his life,
he becomes burned out and depressed.
Verse 1 of chapter 19:
“Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he killed all the prophets with the sword.”
If you remember, Ahab is the evil king.
the 19th consecutive evil king,
and scripture tells us
he had done more evil in the eyes of God
than any of those before him.
But at this point,
after seeing Elijah overcome all the false prophets
of Baal and Asherah,
he kind of hands over the leadership
to his evil wife, Jezebel,
In verse 2 it says,
“So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, ‘May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like one of them.’ "
And she’s referring to dead false prophets.
So in other words she’s saying,
“Elijah, I’m going to kill you.
You’re a dead man by tomorrow.”
Now, Elijah did not expect that.
He thought that surely,
when King Ahab told her about God’s huge display of power,
and that all the false prophets were defeated and dead,
and that all the people had now promised
to follow the one true God,
Elijah thought that Jezebel
would finally give up
on trying to make the people in Israel
But instead of Jezebel giving up,
and admitting defeat,
She says, Elijah, I am going to kill you
if it’s the last thing I do.
Then verse 3 says
“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.”
Now when you first read this,
it makes no sense at all.
Why would he be so afraid of this woman?
King Ahab’s been trying to kill him for years,
so he’s kind of used to that.
In addition, he’s just seen
one powerful miracle after another, done by God.
raising the dead,
fire from heaven,
rain in a drought,
Over and over and over again, for years,
he’d seen the faithfulness of God.
But then one day, a woman says, “I’m going to kill you,”
and he panics, and he runs for his life?
What is going on?
Well we’re going to see in a moment,
that Elijah is burned out and depressed,
and when you’re depressed,
you just react differently to things.
And while we’re at it, this morning,
I’m gonna tell you how you can get depressed,
in four easy steps.
Just in case your life is way too joyful and peaceful right now,
and you really miss being depressed,
I’ll tell you how to get there.
In verse 3 it says,
When Elijah came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it, and he prayed that he might die.”
Okay, that’s a little indication there,
that maybe Elijah is depressed.