Summary: Elijah experiences ’burn out’. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(a). The characters concerned (vs 1-4):
• (1). The Weak King: Ahab (vs 1).
• (2). The Dominant Queen: Jezebel (vs 2).
• (3). The Discouraged Prophet: Elijah (vs 3-4).
(B). The Lord and Elijah (vs 5-18):
• (1). The Lord Reveals vs 5-14).
• (2). The Lord Commissions (vs 15-18).
(C). Elijah and the blues:
• (1). He had the Wrong Perspective.
• (2). He became Isolated.
• (3). He was experiencing ‘Burn out’.
• Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported that 30 years ago,
• The greatest fears of grade school children were:
• (1) Animals, (2) Being in a dark room, (3) High places, (4) Strangers, (5) Loud noises.
• Today, kids are afraid of the following:
• (1) Divorce, (2) War, (3) Cancer, (4) Pollution, (5) Being mugged.
• One summer night during a severe thunderstorm,
• A mother was tucking her small son into bed.
• She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice,
• "Mommy, will you stay with me all night?"
• Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly,
• "I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room."
• A long silence followed.
• And the little boy said, "The big sissy!"
Fear is something we all have or will at times experience:
• Most of us experience it in mild forms,
• Some folks experience it in extreme forms.
• In our passage this morning we see Elijah afraid,
• In fact very afraid!
(a). The characters concerned:
• 1 Kings chapter 19 revolves around three key people: Ahab, Jezebel, and Elijah.
• Let’s look at the impact each had on the other.
(1). The Weak King: Ahab(vs 1).
“Now Ahab told Jezebel everything ELIJAH had done
and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword”.
• Ahab reported to his wife Jezebel;
• All the events that you looked at in last week service (chapter 18 of 1 Kings);
• If you do not know the story;
• Elijah the prophet of God took on 450 prophets of the false god Baal in a contest;
• It was a winner takes all challenge;
• And Elijah won!
• Note: Although the people saw God at work through a sensational miracle;
• (He sent fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice placed on an altar).
• Ahab didn’t, according to verse 1:
• He seemed to have missed the point of what had happened on Mount Carmel:
• Even though Ahab had witnessed God’s power;
• Notice that he did not attribute it to the true God;
• He attributes it to Elijah,
• And he has the nerve to blame him for the death of the prophets of Baal.
• Sadly instead of turning to the God of Elijah;
• Ahab turns instead to his dominant wife,
• Who eagerly and sadistically charge of the situation.
(2). The Dominant Queen: Jezebel (vs 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”.
• Now if you know the story of Ahab & Jezebel:
• You will know that Ahab may have been the king on the throne;
• But it was Jezebel the queen who really ruled.
• Quote: “Ahab wore the pants but Jezebel told him which ones!”
• Quote: “Ahab was the boss and he had his wife’s permission to say so!”
Ahab may have been defeated by Elijah but Jezebel would not be:
• So enraged at Elijah for humiliating her husband and her religion,
• She declared her revenge on the prophet Elijah.
As you read verse 2: Two questions naturally arise:
• Why ‘tomorrow’ and not today?
• Why send a ‘messenger’ and not a battalion of soldiers?
• Jezebel was very craftily preparing a psychological trap for Elijah;
• Jezebel wasn’t only an evil woman; she was also a shrewd strategist,
• She knew how to make the most of Baal’s defeat on Mount Carmel.
• Her husband Ahab may be a quitter, but not his wife!
• Elijah was now a very popular man.
• If Jezebel transformed the prophet into a martyr by killing him,
• He might influence people more by his death than by his life.
• So Jezebel had a more cunning and evil way to diffuse the situation;
• She knew that the people were waiting for Elijah to tell them what to do next;
• So Jezebel knew that if she could remove him from the scene of his victory?
• That is if Elijah disappeared, then so would his influence;