Day Nineteen

And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.  And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”  And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.  And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.  And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death.  Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

1 Kings 19:12–18

Elijah was a man just like us. That’s what James says in James 5:17, and you can see why he says it. Elijah is feeling sorry for himself.  Just before this, in one of the most amazing displays of God’s power in the whole Bible, a whole mountain top altar was lit up by fire, right out of the sky. The blaze was so hot it licked the altar clean. It was a contest between him and a bunch of religious hucksters. Thousands saw it, and those baby-killing priests of Baal were routed (little ones were their favorite sacrifice.)  It was jaw-dropping. But it also triggered a political backlash against Elijah, and he ran. Can’t mess with someone’s false religion, it’s their moneymaker. But fire came out of heaven!  Even so, there he is, scared and pouting, telling God, “I’m all on my own.” If this isn’t a picture of me, I don’t know what is. How do we do this all the time? One minute we see His amazing power, the next minute we act like we’re all alone and no one’s there to help us – from worship to self-pity in 60 seconds.

What’s our Father’s answer to Elijah? To us? To me? He still speaks with a whisper of love – “Don’t panic. Do the things I tell you to do. I’ve got it all under control. Oh, and by the way, I’ve got another 7,000 of you back at the ranch.” What a good God we worship! Even as we fight feeling sorry for ourselves, feeling lonely, and feeling like we’re always failing, He’s gently reassuring us, “It isn’t like you think it is at all.” He’s got you in His victory, He’s included you in His plans, and He’s taking care of your worries. And He even knows You’re still freaking out about it all. Hear Him as He comforts you today. You’re just like Elijah, and even more sure that that – God is just the same too. Ready to answer and ready to save.