Devotional: July 15, 2020
Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, including the massacre of the prophets. Jezebel immediately sent a messenger to Elijah with her threat: “The gods will get you for this and I’ll get even with you! By this time tomorrow you’ll be as dead as any one of those prophets.”
When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: “Enough of this, God! Take my life—I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave!” Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.
Suddenly an angel shook him awake and said, “Get up and eat!”
He looked around and, to his surprise, right by his head were a loaf of bread baked on some coals and a jug of water. He ate the meal and went back to sleep.
The angel of God came back, shook him awake again, and said, “Get up and eat some more—you’ve got a long journey ahead of you.”
He got up, ate and drank his fill, and set out. Nourished by that meal, he walked forty days and nights, all the way to the mountain of God, to Horeb. When he got there, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep.
First Kings 19: 1-9 The Message
The prophet Elijah ministered during a difficult period of time. Evil King Ahab and vengeful Queen Jezebel were awful leaders, going against God at every turn. Here, Jezebel threatens Elijah’s life, after God had done away with her false prophets.
Elijah has a crisis of confidence. Instead of standing up to Jezebel, he runs away! He gets as far away from her as he can travel in two days’ time. Then he collapses under a bush, and asks God to end his life! At this point in his ministry, Elijah is both one of the most inspiring and mightiest of prophets, with courage and conviction, and one of the least courageous individuals.
Perhaps we are the same way. There are times when we do well in our spiritual walks with the Lord. Other times, we fail. We are inconsistent. It is part of the human condition, and our sinful nature. Like Elijah, we do not always follow the Lord perfectly.
Yet God does not grant Elijah his wish. Instead, the Lord has compassion on Elijah. He sees that Elijah is in need of restoration, and nourishment. So, God sends an angel to feed him. God also encourages Elijah to rest. It is almost as if God the Father is giving his temper tantrum toddler Elijah a snack and a nap, in order to get him in a better frame of mind.
The good news is that God is always understanding, compassionate, merciful, wise, and forgiving. The Lord understood Elijah better than even Elijah did! He blessed Elijah with food and sleep, and gave him the courage and strength to continue his ministry.
The good news is that even when we give up on God, the Lord never gives up on us. So get some nourishment, take a rest, and continue with your work for the Lord.
God of our salvation,
Thank you for being with us through every up and down of our life. Watch over us as we take each step in our lives. Protect us from that which we have no control over. You are our shepherd when we do lie down by still waters. Thank you for restoring our soul. May we find peace in you.
Faithfully we pray this prayer in the name of Your son and our Lord,