Summary: A look at Elijah’s experience of discouragement and how he was led to renewal
1 Kings 19:1-8;12-14
Purpose Statement: We need to return to the Bread of Life for renewal and
Background: Elijah runs for his life to the southern most city in Judah-Beersheba. Beersheba was named by Abraham (Gen 21:31) when his servants dug wells there and means “well of the oath”. There are two
primary wells there and 5 smaller ones. From there he travels on to Mt.Horeb, the mountain of God. Elijah was a man who stopped rain, who called fire down from heaven, who raised the dead (17:22) and parted waters.
Yet, here he has come to the end of himself, physically, emotionally,spiritually and socially. He had become fearful of Jezebel. Elijah had just
faced the prophets of Baal at Mt.Carmel and was victorious. He had a great spiritual and emotional victory. But, he was in need of renewal. (Is 40:31)
If you’ve ever had a time of physical or spiritual exhaustion then this passage is for you. We can focus so much on the world and our needs and
work that we literally work ourselves to exhaustion. We need to return to the Bread of life and waters of life for renewal and refreshment. We need to
spend time in the presence of God for a renewed perspective on His work.
We need to remember that he is in control. Elijah was a man like us who needed renewal. In this passage, we see him after an intense spiritual victory. We see God’s response to him and his unlimited patience with a frail human.
1. Elijah faced physical exhaustion vs.5 He needed food and water and rest. Often physical weakness and openness to sin are related. He ran himself to
the point of exhaustion in stark fear and panic.
2. Elijah faced emotional exhaustion vs.14 He claimed to be the only one left vs.10&14 He had just traveled 70 miles in panic and fear. He is acting as if what happened on Mt.Carmel never did happen.
3. Elijah faced social isolation vs.3. He traveled alone and thought he was alone. We need one another. He thought he was alone, but God said that he had kept 7,000 for himself
4. Elijah faced spiritual exhaustion. vs.12. He needed to hear God’s whisper. A message meant only for Him. He was more vulnerable to sin after his great victory. Jesus says that those who are weary should come to Him and they will find rest for their souls (Matthew 11:28-30). God did several things to restore Elijah: Provided for his needs vs.5-8;
Revealed His presence vs.11 He reveals Himself in a still small whisper; Renewed his purpose vs.15 Lifted up his hope vs.18 He doesn’t rebuke Elijah for his doubt, but simply is patient with him.
God’s question for Elijah- What are you doing here?
God’s commands- Get up and eat, go up and stand on the mountain in the presence of God, go back to work
What God does to restore?
1. Provides for our needs
2. Renews our vision of who He is
3. Renews our sense of purpose
4. Renews our hope that He is in control
Every one of us must stumble into such trenches along life’s winding way. Sometimes without warning, discouragement creeps in silently on little cat’s
feet-like fog off the bay. Time and pain wear down our resolve. Broken inspirit and bruised beyond repair, we get weary of soul. We ask ourselves,
What have I been spending my life for?” p.162, Roper.
“We string ourselves “out, expending all our time and energy, adding our will to God’s, trying to do extremely well what he never intended for us to do at
all!” p.161, Roper.
“So let the noise subside,
And listen deep inside;
He will speak, he will speak.
But it won’t be an earthquake;
And it won’t be fire;
Or the whirling wind;
Taking you higher.
It will be a stil small voice;
And you’ll have no choice;
But to hear; but to hear.
Here is the way God operates. He restores our lives and our hope if we come to Him. God is a fountain of life giving water that we each need to
spend time at. Elijah found renewal of purpose and strength in God’s presence. God knew exactly what Elijah needed. God knows exactly what you need when you come to him. Won’t you come to Him today?