April 29

Read I & II Kings 19 -- 20

In Today's Reading:

Jezebel's threat against Elijah; Elijah's flight; the call of Elisha; Ahab's death foretold

Apparently, Elijah believed that the miraculous fire from heaven and the end of the drought not only would prove Baal to be a false god but that it would result in Ahab and Jezebel's conversion to the One True God.

Ahab rushed toward his palace to tell Jezebel what had happened. Responding immediately, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went (ran) for his life (I Kings 19:2-3). Avoiding the ruthless Jezebel was not weakness, but wisdom. However, feeling defeated and discouraged, Elijah 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 life and only He 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 provided for Elijah's physical needs by sending an angel to supply nourishment after his long journey (19:5-6). Often our mountaintop spiritual victories will be quickly followed by opposition or a time of testing in a solitary place.

 

When we stand before the Lord, each person's work will be judged — not by how spectacular it was but by its true eternal worth. All of us have moments of disappointment when it seems we have failed. Often our estimation of what we should achieve and God's estimation are far apart. We are not called always to be successful, but we are called always to be available and to remain faithful to God (I Corinthians 1:9).

 

Although he did not know it, Elijah did accomplish what God wanted him to do. One of his great successes was that the leaders in Ahab's kingdom went home with a renewed conviction that The LORD, He is the God (I Kings 18:39). For centuries Elijah's faith and faithfulness have given encouragement to millions of believers. The LORD is near to all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. . . . The LORD preserves all them that love Him: but all the wicked will He destroy (Psalm 145:18,20).

Word Studies:

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; 20:22 mark = take note; 20:24 rooms = positions.

Christ Portrayed:

By the unnamed prophet who prophesied victory to King Ahab so that he would know his victory was controlled by God: I am the Lord (I Kings 20:13,28). Thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:57).

Pray For:

Government Officials: Rep. Lee Fletcher (LA), Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ), Rep. Jim Ryun (KS), and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) · Country: Antigua and Barbuda (64,000) in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean · Major languages: English and local dialects · Religious freedom · 83% Protestant; 11% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray when distressed and afflicted (Jonah 2:2).

Optional Reading: Romans 2

Memory Verse for the Week: John 6:63