Summary: First-person monologue, as Elijah: the voice of God is not in the winds of popularity, nor the earthquake of instability, nor the fires of self-destruction. It is in the One in whom God has spoken and who will never leave us.
I’m so lonely. So desperately lonely. It’s been so long since l’ve seen a friendly face.
So lonely. So completely alone. I feel … deserted. No one even cares whether I am alive or dead.
After all I’ve done for them, would you not think that somewhere in Israel there would be a good word for Elijah? Would you not think that God’s prophet, who has stood up against the forces of evil, would receive a little gratitude, just a taste of thanks?
Would you not suppose that someone who has stood up to the king himself and has accused him to his very face of disturbing the peace of the nation ... would you not think that I could come to my mature years and feel honored, at least a tiny bit?
But I do not feel thanked. I do not feel honored. For Elijah there are no parades, no medals, no recognition. So lonely, so desperately lonely. But it’s not the first time, you know. I’ve felt this way before. All alone in the world, with nobody to care.
Why? Why? Do you know, sir? Do you, madam? How about you, young fellow? Or you, young lady? Anyone?
No, of course not. You’re like all the rest, aren’t you? You don’t really love the Lord. You don’t really care about His ways, now do you?
Well, I’m going to tell you my story, anyway. I must at least tell you about this nagging shadow of terror that crosses my soul! I must tell somebody. Somebody must hear my story, and soon. Soon, because the end is coming. They are going to get me. They are. So please, you may not like me; but at least let me tell my story to some human soul.
Lonely. When was the first time I felt It? Ah yes, I remember.
It was actually just at the moment of my greatest victory. Now I know that seems odd, but it’s true. At the very peak of my success, I felt this dismal loneliness. A magnificent, terrible moment. A glorious, horrible moment. Are you confused?
Perhaps I’d better set the background. Several years ago the Lord, the God of our people, called me while I was still in my little village of Tishbe, and the Lord said, "Elijah, I want you to be my prophet."
Now you must understand that it was not unusual for the Lord to call prophets. There were hundreds of us. Nearly every town and village had a few young men and some women, too, on whom the word of the Lord had come. We were a fascinating study, we prophets. We used to run our mouths on nearly every subject imaginable. No such thing as an inhibited prophet, you know. We worked ourselves up into frenzies, we spoke feverish gibberish, and we had an opinion on everything. Being a prophet was not bad, not bad at all. Chiefs and captains, kings and courtiers called on us to see what we had to say, and, if they didn’t like it, well, too bad for them. We prophets were very proud of speaking for the Lord. Yes, sir. For the Lord Himself.
But when the Lord called me to be a prophet, very early he sent me to the king of my nation. In those days Israel’s king was Ahab, and let me tell you, he was a nasty piece of work. Ahab was the most horrible example of kingship we had ever seen in this kingdom, and, believe me, we had had some bad ones.
How bad were they? Well, they say it goes all the way back to King Jeroboam. Jeroboam brought idolatry and lust and child sacrifice and all sorts of filthiness into the royal palace in Samaria. Terrible things!
But the worst thing Jeroboam did was to leave sons behind, because his sons and their sons were worse even than the old man. Let’s see, the first was Nadab; he only lasted two years, when Baasha conspired against him and took his throne. And Baasha just repeated everything that Jeroboam had done. Well, his son Elah made it another two years, and got so drunk he couldn’t even defend himself against Zimri, who took the throne.
As for Zimri, do you know that in seven days … seven days, not years ... he managed to destroy the entire royal family?! You cannot believe the corruption of these people! Well, after Zimri’s one-week reign of terror came General Omri, and for about twelve years Omri gave us civil war. Omri was the worst, the absolute worst, in his idolatry, his lust, his bloodthirstiness, his greed, we thought it couldn’t get worse.
But it did. It got worse. Worse was Ahab. Ahab. I can hardly pronounce his name. It sickens me. His very name – it makes me feel ... chilled, alone. So very alone.