Summary: God knows where we are physically and spiritually.
"What Are You Doing Here? "
1 Ki. 19:9-18
There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 10 He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." 11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 14 He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." 15 The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him."
It’s the story of Elijah, that fiery prophet of God. He has just won the contest with the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah on Mount Carmel. When the Lord answered his prayer with fire the people seized the idolatrous prophets and put them to death by the sword.
The only problem with that great victory was the stink made by the king and queen Ahab and Jezebel. The queen has promised to kill Elijah. So in fear for his life, Elijah heads out on a 41 day journey. His destination is Mount Horeb - the mountain of God. Horeb is where Moses received his commission and where he brought water from a rock.
There in Horeb, he enters a cave and spends the night.
While he was in that cave, the word of the Lord came to him. The encounter Elijah has with the Lord has bearing on our own lives. God asks a question of Elijah that needs to be asked of us from time to time. "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
The Question: vv:9, 13
God’s question almost sounds like the old pick-up line from the movies: "What’s a nice guy like you doing in a place like this?"
It isn’t as though God had misplaced Elijah. He doesn’t question his whereabouts. It isn’t that He is surprised to find him there. He is questioning Elijah’s choice of locations. And the reason for coming.
There has to be a reason, a purpose...
1. He was afraid - 19:3
2. He felt isolated - 18:22 (cp. 18:4) and 19:4
David in the cave of Abdullum - 1 Sam. 22
* "The Cry From a Cave" by Chuck Swindoll
Why did Elijah choose this location? This mountain? This cave?
1. It was the mountain of God.
2. He chose it as a hiding place - a refuge.
If you’re going to run, run to Jesus. If you’re going to run, run toward the Lord, not away from the trials and tests of life.
Have you ever given thought to why we’re a mobile society? Many have tried to run away from their problems only to find that their troubles have followed them. They believed the lie that a change in scenery will make a difference. But it is a change of spirit they need. Parents think a move will do their teenagers good since they hang around with a bad group of kids. But when they settle in at the new location they discover that their kids have made friends of the same type of people in their new home. Only the names and faces change. The hearts and attitudes are all the same.