Summary: Learn how to come out of our trials victorious.
Title: How To Behave In A Cave – 8
Text: I Kings 19:1-9
Some things can attack you and push you so far into a cave that you can’t even see the impact of your life anymore. You don’t feel like your doing much of anything. So often we cannot see beyond our present circumstances, so we get discouraged, thinking we are not being as effective as we would like to be. This was the case for the third caveman of the Bible, Elijah. Some of us are in the same predicament that Elijah started out as. But if we could just take a look in the spiritual realm, we would see that we are doing more then we think we are. In our text, Elijah is in a tough spot.
I. FROM THE TREE OF DESPAIR TO THE CAVE OF DEPRESSION
When we read about Elijah in I Kings 19, we see that he was at a very low point in his life. He was so depressed that he wanted to die. Jezebel had just sent word to him that she was going to kill him, so he was running for his life. Sounds quite similar to our other cavemen, David and Jonathan.
The Bible says he fled into the wilderness, sat under a juniper tree and said in despair in I Kings 19:4: “It is enough now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” If Elijah really wanted to die, he could have just stuck around that tree for a while, because Jezebel would have taken care of that. But an angel of the Lord came to Elijah and ministered to him until he was strong enough to go up to Mount Horeb. It is important to know where Mount Horeb was:
Exodus 3:4-5; “And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”
Deuteronomy 5:2-4; “The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. 4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,”
Mount Horeb is the place where God spoke to Moses and changed his life forever. Mount Horeb is the place where God came down and talked with the children of Israel and made a covenant with them. This is very significant in understanding what Elijah was doing. When Elijah was in the deepest despair of his life and at the lowest point, he ran to Mount Horeb because he wanted to get back to the place where God spoke to his people. This is where he was heading, but we find that he got sidetracked again.
I Kings 19:9; “He came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?”
Elijah hides out in a cave. He answers the Lord with the following words:
I Kings 19:10; “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.”
Elijah was actually saying, “Here I am, Lord, the only one serving You out of the entire country of Israel, it is only me. There is nobody else left but me and now they are all trying to kill me.” Elijah is pouring his heart out to God. He is in such a deep depression at this point in his life. He thinks he is the only one serving God and now they want to destroy him. Later on in verse 18 we find that God told him He had 7,000 who hasn’t bowed their knee to Baal. So even though it looked like Elijah was all by himself, there were plenty others with him.
Even though Elijah was at this low point of despair, God still had a plan for his life and we are going to find that once Elijah makes a choice to come out of this cave of depression that the latter part of Elijah’s life was greater then the former. Elijah just couldn’t see what God had in store for him.
When you are in the cave of depression, it blinds you to the truth and gives you a distorted view of life. That is the kind of view that Elijah had that day. There are some here that are in the cave of depression. You wonder how God will ever use you. You wonder if He has forgotten about you. You wonder if you are the only one feeling this way and if God even cares anymore. After this message is done, I want each of us to leave this house with the reassurance that God has not forgotten about you and God cares about you more then you could ever imagine.