Wicked Queen Jezebel threatens the life of Elijah to morrow (I Kin. 19:2). He is miraculously sustained by angels (19:9-12). Read the plan of God to provide a successor for Elijah (19:15-19). God uses wicked Ahab and proves to him that I am the Lord (20:28-34). Ahab's death foretold.
Verses for Today:
Elijah. . . . said, It is enough: now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat (I Kin. 19:1-5).
Apparently, Elijah believed that the miraculous fire from heaven and the end of the drought would prove Baal to be a false god, and it would result in Ahab and Jezebel's conversion to the One True God.
Ahab headed toward his palace to tell Jezebel what had happened. Responding immediately, Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went (ran) for his life (19:2-3). Avoiding the ruthless Jezebel was not weakness but wisdom. However, feeling defeated and discouraged, he prayed: O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers (19:4).
There is no indication that Elijah contemplated suicide; he believed that God was the Creator and Lord of his life and only God had the right to take life. What he meant was: "I'm a failure. I have not achieved my mission, and there seems to be no hope of restoring the nation to worship You as the One True God." However, God lovingly sent an angel to provide for Elijah's physical needs after his long journey (19:5-6).
Often our mountaintop spiritual victories are followed by moments of disappointment when it seems we have failed. Our estimation of what we hoped to achieve and the value God attributes to our efforts are much more. We are not called to be successful, but be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Rev. 2:10).
Although he did not know it, Elijah did accomplish what God wanted him to do. All the Israelites (I Kin. 18:18-20) in Ahab's kingdom went home with a renewed conviction that: The Lord, He is the God (18:39). Elijah has given encouragement to millions of believers.
Thought for Today:
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. . . . The Lord preserveth all them that love Him: but all the wicked will He destroy (Ps. 145:18,20).
By the unnamed prophet who prophesied victory to King Ahab so that he would know his destiny was controlled by God: Thou shalt know that I am the Lord (I Kin. 20:13,28). Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 15:57).
19:8 Horeb =Mount Sinai; 19:14 jealous =zealous; 19:21 instruments =yokes; 20:11 harness =armor; 20:12 set yourselves in array =get ready to attack; 20:24 rooms =positions, places.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Government Officials: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) • Country: Guinea (8 million) on the Atlantic coast of western Africa • Major languages: French and tribal languages • Freedom for nationals, but strict limitations on missionaries • 83% Muslim; 12% tribal religions; 4% Roman Catholic; .6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Make everything you do a matter of prayer (I Thess. 5:17).
Optional Reading: Romans 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:13