Summary: One of two men that did not die, Enoch walked with God and was taken so he did not see death, Elijah was taken in a whirlwind. In the preceding chapter, Elijah has a contest with evil prophets.
Jezebel, wife of Ahab and one of the evilest women in the Bible, was angered due to the death of her prophets, since they revealed to her all that she wanted to hear, forecasting her future might and grandeur. Elijah was a steady thorn to Jezebel since he was foreseeing misery and judgment.
Verses 1 thru 4
• Elijah flees for his life, he’s not heroic nor courageous
• He runs, hides under a tree and requests to die, his attitude is called the I quits, I give up
- How many of us have felt this and cry out, what’s the use?
• Why does Elijah feel this way? Maybe he expected a different reaction from Jezebel and Ahab. Maybe, Elijah expected God to act in a certain way, his faith was based upon his knowledge of God, not on God Himself
• We see the fear of Elijah, which is evident in the flight of Elijah, fear gripped his heart, so he fled
• Elijah was overworked, overwrought, and over-worried
- We expect God to act a certain way, but when He doesn’t our faith hits the bottom. . . oh woe is me
- A Christian is to be completely fearless, continually cheerful, and constantly in trouble
• Next, we see Elijah become despondent, he wants to die, yet he runs away because he is afraid to die
- We can become illogical when we turn from faith to fear
• Self-pity sets in
• Elijah says, ‘it is enough’, basically he is tired of the whole situation, maybe he’s thinking I’ve done my part, I can’t take anymore
- Self-pity is the result of having fallen from faith to self-trust, self-trust results in self-pity
Verses 5 thru 8
• God takes care of the physical as well as the spiritual
• Elijah needs rest and resuscitation, then he was strengthened for the next part of his journey
- There’s something about fasting and prayer that is important
Verses 9 thru 10
• He’s sitting in a cave and then the Lord wants to know ‘what he is doing there’
- There are times we get like that
- We question if we are in our place
- We question if we are in the way of our duty
- Am I where I should be and doing what I should be doing
• Elijah proceeds to tell the Lord what all the Israelites have or have not done
• He thought he was the only one left that was serving God
Verses 11 thru 16
• Elijah is sent to the mountain.
- Normally when we’re up on the mountain things just seem better
• For some reason, the wind blew, an earthquake came, there was a fire. Elijah doesn’t seem to be afraid
• Job 4:16
• But then a still small voice comes to him and asks ‘what he is doing there’
• Thru all the noise he heard the still small voice
- Don’t always look for God in the big things
- Are we listening for God?
• Again, Elijah tells the Lord about the Israelites. He tells of his own discouragement.
• Elijah is instructed to anoint three different people:
- Hazael to be king over Syria, evil king used to punish Israel for sin, represents external punishment
- Jehu to be king over Israel, who would destroy those who worshiped false god Baal, represents internal punishment
- Elisha to be a prophet, succeeds Elijah, points people of Israel back to God
• It may be that when God seems to do nothing, great things are happening that we do not see.
- God’s program may not involve activity
- A change of attitude often key to transformed life
- God uses small things to open mighty ones
- When we feel depressed after a spiritual victory, we need to remember that God’s purpose for us may not be over
- Don’t be tempted to feel sorry for ourselves
- Self-pity dilutes what good we are doing
- Shut out the noise of the world
- Listen humbly and quietly
When we come to a place where things seem to be going bad and nothing is happening, and trails come, we should stop looking at the situation and look to the Savior.