Summary: When defeats, fears, loneliness, unworthiness, get to you, what else is there to look forward to?
When I have given up hope
“Connecting with God” Series
August 1, 2004
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 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."
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD ," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." 5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
A man was walking along our North shore mountain road and saw a First Nations man lying with his ear to the ground. As he approached the First Nations man, he heard him talking.
“Chevy pickup truck. Large tires. Green. Man driving with large German shepherd in passenger seat. Loaded with firewood. BC license plate 830 EJE”.
The other guy was just astounded at the first nations guy. He said, “You mean you can tell all that from listening to the ground?”
The first nations man replied: “Ear to the ground, nothing, That truck just ran over me.”
Many a times we feel that way, like a big truck that just ran over us. I am glad that the Bible is just super honest. In the Word of God, we find people just like that, real people who experience real pain, rejection, depression, and just have given up on life. People like the prophet, Elijah. Here he is just after experiencing great victory over the arch-enemies of God on Mount Carmel but God allowed him to taste bitter defeat at the hands of an evil woman called Jezebel, King Ahab’s queen. He was threatened with death. How would u feel if death squads were dispatched with a sole purpose of hunting u down and shooting u down like a dead dog?
Fear ran deep into Elijah’s heart as the Bible matter of factly says: "Elijah was afraid and ran for his life". He ran away as far as his legs could carry him, apparently 90 miles south of his place of victory, to Beersheba. What a turn of events. At first, he was confident, prayed like a man on fire for God, stared down and challenged the enemies of God. Now all of a sudden - Scared, defeated, alone, wishing he might die in the wilderness of a desert. Ever felt this way? One-minute victory, next your life comes crashing to a halt. Joy for a moment, then massive sorrow.
As I was preparing this message this past week, I came across this Psalm in my daily reading on Wednesday. Turn with me to Psalm 22…
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.
4 In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8 "He trusts in the LORD ;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him."
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you
even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast upon you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,