In Today's Scripture 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 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 (I Kings 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 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 desert testing.
When we stand before the Lord, each person's work shall 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 to be successful but 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 all the Israelites (I Kings 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 that: 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 (Psalm 145:18,20).
19:8 Horeb =ount Sinai; 19:14 jealous =ealous; 19:21 instruments =okes; 20:11 harness =rmor; 20:12 set yourselves in array =et ready to attack; 20:22 mark =ake note; 20:24 rooms =ositions.
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 Kings 20:13,28). Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory (I Corinthians 15:57).
Pray for Staff: Mary Kay Wagner Government Officials: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ), Rep. Jim Ryun (KS), and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) Country: Papua New Guinea (5 million) in the southwestern Pacific Major languages: 715 indigenous languages Religious freedom 64% Protestant; 33% Roman Catholic; 2% ancestor worship, belief in spirits, and witchcraft Prayer Suggestion: If the words of God abide in you, whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive (John 15:7).
Optional Reading: Romans 2
Memory Verse for the Week: I John 2:5