Summary: In this life, we will all experience our share of ups and downs, heartaches and pain. When we go through this pressure cooker called, "life" - we must understand that God promised us that He would never leave us, nor would He forsake us!
(New King James Version) 1 Kings 19:10-13 10) So he said ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.’ 11) Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;
12) and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13) So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
TODAY’S SERMON TITLE: “WOE IS ME!”
MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A PROJECT – A PROJECT THAT MAY HAVE TAKEN MONTHS (OR EVEN YEARS TO COMPLETE…)
BUT ONCE YOU ACCOMPLISHED YOUR GOAL (AND HAD A BRIEF MOMENT TO CELEBRATE…) YOU WERE LEFT PONDERING THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION – AND THAT IS, “WHAT’S NEXT?”
ALL THIS TIME YOU’VE BEEN WORKING TOWARDS THIS GOAL – YOU’VE BEEN ANTICIPATING IT (YOU’VE BEEN DREAMING ABOUT FINISHING IT…) AND NOW SUDDENLY…IT’S DONE!
• MAYBE IT’S FINALLY GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE
• PERHAPS IT’S LANDING THAT DREAM JOB
• MAYBE YOU’VE SAVED UP ENOUGH MONEY – TO FINALLY PURCHASE THAT DREAM HOUSE OF YOURS
• MAYBE YOU GOT THAT MAN OR WOMAN (THAT YOU’VE BEEN COURTING ALL THESE YEARS…) TO FINALLY SAY, “I DO!”
(WHAT I’M SAYING IS…) WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU’VE WORKED SO HARD TO ACHIEVE OR ACCOMPLISH (BEFORE YOU CAN REALLY HAVE TIME TO CELEBRATE…) YOU ARE CONFRONTED WITH THE REALITY OF…NOW WHAT?
SOME PEOPLE WILL GO INTO A DEPRESSION – AS THEY WONDER, “WHAT DO I HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO – NOW THAT I’VE FINISHED THIS GOAL OF MINE?”
(IN OTHER WORDS…) WE CAN CELEBRATE ACCOMPLISHING OUR TASKS (BUT WE NEED TO REALIZE…) THAT LIFE KEEPS ON MOVING! AND OFT TIMES, WHEN IT BECOMES A NEW DAY – THE MEMORY OF THAT VICTORY IS IN THE PAST!
TODAY MAY EVEN BRING NEW PROBLEMS – THAT YESTERDAY’S VICTORY WON’T CHANGE! WE MAY GO FROM FEELING HAPPY OR EXCITED – TO FEELING SAD OR DEPRESSED…LITERALLY OVERNIGHT!
(COME ON IN HERE…) MANY OF YOU HAVE CRIED OUT TO GOD – SAYING, “LORD, YOU GAVE ME THE VICTORY ON YESTERDAY – BUT I JUST DON’T FEEL EXCITED TODAY! I FELT YOUR PRESENCE ON YESTERDAY – BUT TODAY I FEEL ALL BY MYSELF!”
THE PROPHET ELIJAH COULD RELATE TO THESE SAME TYPES OF THOUGHTS!
IN CASE YOU DON’T REMEMBER MUCH ABOUT ELIJAH (HE PRETTY MUCH SUMS UP HIS LIFE…) IN HIS FIRST WORDS OF OUR TEXT – WHEN HE SAYS, “I HAVE BEEN VERY ZEALOUS FOR THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.”
(AND THAT WAS THE TRUTH…) ELIJAH’S FRUSTRATION DIDN’T STEM FROM THE FACT (THAT HE FELT GUILTY…) BECAUSE HE HADN’T DONE ENOUGH FOR THE LORD – ELIJAH HAD DONE EVERYTHING HE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO…AND MORE:
• HE HAD CONFRONTED KING AHAB AND QUEEN JEZEBEL ABOUT THEIR SINS!
• HE HAD PRAYED FOR A DEAD BOY – AND THE LORD BROUGHT HIM BACK TO LIFE!
• HE HAD A FACE TO FACE SHOWDOWN – WITH 450 PROPHETS OF THE FALSE GOD, “BAAL!”
ELIJAH CHALLENGED THE FALSE PROPHETS TO A SHOW DOWN (TO DETERMINE ONCE AND FOR ALL…) WHO WAS THE REAL, TRUE AND LIVING GOD!
(COME ON, YAW KNOW THE STORY…) THE PROPHETS OF BAAL PRAYED ALL DAY LONG (WAITING FOR BAAL TO SET THE ALTAR ON FIRE…) BUT NOTHING HAPPENED – THEIR SACRIFICE REMAINED ON THE ALTAR!
BUT WHEN ELIJAH CALLED ON THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB (EVEN AFTER POURING WATER OVER HIS SACRIFICE…) GOD NOT ONLY BURNED UP THE SACRIFICE – BUT HE CONSUMED THE WHOLE ALTAR!
(AND SO…) THE FALSE PROPHETS WERE PUT TO DEATH (AND THERE WAS NO QUESTION…) THAT GOD WAS ON ELIJAH’S SIDE!
(BUT THE VERY NEXT DAY…) QUEEN JEZEBEL THREATENS TO KILL ELIJAH – SO HE HAS TO FLEE FOR HIS LIFE!
(NOW, I WANT YOU TO GET THE PICTURE HERE…) JUST THE DAY BEFORE – ELIJAH WAS LARGE AND IN CHARGE (HE WAS THE “HNIC…) LIVING ON TOP OF THE WORLD!
BUT TODAY (EVEN WITH THAT GREAT VICTORY BEHIND HIM…) WHAT DOES ELIJAH SAY? HE SAYS, “LORD, I’VE HAD ENOUGH, TAKE MY LIFE!”
NOW, IT’S HARD TO FATHOM – THAT A GREAT PROPHET LIKE ELIJAH (WOULD BE THIS DEPRESSED…) AND WOULD SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT – ESPECIALLY WHEN HE HAD JUST EXPERIENCED THIS GREAT VICTORY!