Summary: God reversed Elijah’s emotional burnout by meeting his basic needs.
God’s gentle whisper - 1 Kings 19:1-18
Prayer and welcome
Ask people what they know about Elijah the prophet (five to six answer).
• King Ahab, influence by his foreign wife Jezebel, has lead Israel into idolatry. Just before this scene, the power of God came upon Elijah in amazing ways.
• A contest with the prophets of Baal, Elijah demonstrated the Lord’s superiority over Baal, resulting on the execution of the false prophets
• After a long drought God send rain in response to Elijah’s prayer
• The Lord empowered Elijah to outrun Ahab’s chariots
Read - 1 Kings 19:1-18
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 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 that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
What impresses you the most about this story? (Let people respond)
A) We see four sources of despair in Elijah’s life.
He was depleted by victory
• Elijah was really pumped up after the amazing victory on Mount Carmel.
He was on a spiritual high and maybe thought that since all the false prophets were put to death that Jezebel would be next.
• The most vulnerable point in our life is right after we’ve experienced a mighty victory.
He was disconcerted by fear (Verse 2-3a)
• Instead of being impressed with Elijah, Jezebel was infuriated and flew into a rage, demanding his immediate execution.
• Look at verse 2: “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”