Summary: Sometimes we want to give up because we feel alone and abandoned.
LORD I THINK I’VE HAD ENOUGH!
By Cleavon Matthews
December 29, 2003
In this solemn Scripture our attention is seized by the shattered state of God’s messenger. This valiant and venturous prophet has been victimized by fear. At this point he is but a shadow of the man he had been. He is crouched underneath the Juniper tree in despondency and despair. His past miracles have been erased from his short-term memory. The luster of his life has faded from view. He is exhausted. The burning flames of his faith have been extinguished by his emotional handicaps. His brass bravery has been expunged by the price placed on his head. He is a man anticipating nothing but anguish. He has plunged to the point of pathetic. Broken by fear he prays to the God of life for death. Hope has been abandoned. Expectancy has been evacuated. Confidence has been crippled. Nothing remains except emptiness, darkness, and gloom.
It is hard to believe this is the same man. Is this really Elijah the Tishbite? The man we know stood boldly and unapologetic before Ahab and promised a drought of both rain and dew. The man we know drank water from the brook and was fed by the ravens. The Elijah we know told the widow of Zarepath not to be afraid. The man we know brought her son back to life. The Elijah we know defeated and killed the 450 prophets of Baal. The Elijah we know called down fire from heaven and consumed 104 men. The Elijah we know divided the Jordan and walked across on dry ground. The Elijah we know appeared with Jesus and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration. I’m trying to tell you that no matter how great you are you will still have some bad days!
Elijah is suffering from the stress and burden of his ministry. His self-image and self-esteem have been sabotaged. He feels like a failure. He is suffering from an emotional breakdown because he has been carrying the weight of his constituents. He has had all he can take. He has done everything in his power to turn God’s people around. He has been gallant but has received no gratitude. He has been convincing but has received no commendation. He has been truthful but has received no thanksgiving. Instead he has received a death threat from the Queen of corruption. Jezebel, Ahab’s Phoenician bride and servant of Baal has vowed to pierce him through with the sword as payback for the 450 prophets of Baal slain by Elijah.
Elijah was a man with passions like us (James 5:17). He has had enough! He has thrown in the towel. Sometimes as God’s people we become frustrated by our own faulty perceptions and fearful because of dreadful danger. He encouraged others but was unable to encourage himself. He was able to help others but he couldn’t help himself. Elijah has experienced enough! He can’t take anymore! He has reached his breaking point.
But we can’t be too hard on Elijah because we too have…
Problems we can’t solve
Stress we can’t stand
Appetites we can’t control
Tests we can’t tolerate
Desires we can’t contain
Hurts we can’t heal