Summary: When we are depressed things many times seem hopeless, don’t they? But in our study today, we will find that there is hope in the midst of depression. (1 Kings - pt 6)
GOD’S CURE FOR THE BLUES"
TEXT I KINGS 19:1-18
Elijah sat down under a tree and prayed that he might die? Now that doesn’t sound like the Elijah the great prophet taking up in a whirlwind. It really seems out of character for Elijah, a man who had walked so close to God to be depressed.
I mean here was a man who had stood boldly before Ahab proclaiming to the King, that because of his sin and the nations sin of rejecting the Living God, that there would be no rain in the Land, until he said so.
Here was a man who was sustained in the desert by God sending food by ravens,
Here was a man who preformed miracles in the home of the widow of Zarepath, he miraculously made her food supply replenish itself and he even raised her son from the dead. Surely a man who walked that close and was used so powerfully by God, surely a man like this, would not get depressed -- but he did.
And remember how Elijah challenged the 450 false prophets on Mt Carmel to a contest, a contest to prove whose God was real. Remember Elijah taunting the false prophets as they called to their god in an 8 hour frantic frenzy, remember him: building an altar, preparing a sacrifice, building a trench -- praying to God and God responding immediately to his prayer with fire from heaven. To which the Israelites immediately fell down and said, "THE LORD - HE IS GOD, THE LORD - HE IS GOD."
You wouldn’t expect a man who experienced a dramatic and total victory like this over his enemies to get depressed, to get down, to sing the blues -- but he did.
Then following that great victory on Mt Carmel, Elijah experienced a dramatic answer to prayer. 1 Kings I 18:41-46 tells us that while he was still on the mountain , Elijah said the following to Ahab,
The sky was growing blacker, the wind was kicking up -- Ahab was in his chariot on his way to Jezrel. And the power of the Lord came upon Elijah, and he tucked his coat into his belt and started running.... He was running to Jezrel 18 miles away (and he beat the chariot)...
You see, Elijah wanted to be in Jezrel when Ahab returned to tell Jezebel about Elijah’s victory on Mt. Carmel... He wanted to be there I guess for a kind of "In your face Jezebel" and to start any reformation process that Ahab might choose to do...
You wouldn’t expect a man who just had a prayer answered and had just outran a horse and chariot to get depressed, but he did.
Today we want to study Ch 19 of I Kings and discuss why Elijah got depressed and how God in response then helped him cure the blues... This is a relevant topic because most of us at one time or another has had a battle with depression, more than once we are found singing the blues..
In a book entitled "Happiness is a Choice," the authors share these statistics, "THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER. ONE IN 20 IS PRESENTLY EXPERIENCING IT. DEPRESSION IS A LEADING CAUSE OF SUICIDE. DEPRESSION OCCURS 2 TIMES AS OFTEN IN WOMEN AS IN MEN. DEPRESSION OCCURS 3 TIMES AS OFTEN IN PEOPLE IN HIGHER SOCIO ECONOMIC GROUPS. DEPRESSION OCCURS MORE OFTEN IN THE 4TH AND 5TH DECADES OF LIFE, ALTHOUGH IT MAY OCCUR AT ANY STRESSFUL PERIOD.."
We spend a lot of time here at East Tampa studying the OT... that’s because it is God’s Word and because it is extremely relevant to our lives today.. Paul writes in Romans 15:4, "EVERYTHING THAT WAS WRITTEN IN THE PAST WAS WRITTEN TO TEACH US, SO THAT THROUGH THE ENDURANCE AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF SCRIPTURE WE MIGHT HAVE HOPE..."
When we are depressed things many times seem hopeless, don’t they? -- So let’s look at God’s word today -- and we will find that there is hope in the midst of depression and we will uncover God’s cure for the blues....
I. FIRST LETS ANSWER THE QUESTION , WHY WAS ELIJAH DEPRESSED?
Now how do we know he was depressed? because the words, "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH, LORD, TAKE MY LIFE... I AM NO BETTER THAN MY ANCESTORS..." are not the words of someone on a spiritual high, are they?
As chapter 19 opens up the great prophet Elijah is battling the blues. I’d like to suggest several reasons for Elijah’s depression -- and as we talk about these I am sure that some of these will sound familiar to you.
A. ONE REASON ELIJAH BECAME DEPRESSED WAS DUE TO HIS PERSONALITY OR TEMPERAMENT.