Highlights In Today's Reading:
How like us is Elijah as he flees in fear from the wicked Jezebel in deep depression after the Lord gives him the mightiest victory of his life. Did you notice where the Lord found him (19:12)? Elisha is called. We can be sure that Jesus Christ has assured us: I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).
Because of Ahab's wickedness, God withheld rain from all of Israel for three years. Then He told Elijah to go again to Ahab. Elijah challenged the king to assemble all the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel to prove who really is the only living God. Elijah proved that the God of Israel is the One True God. Elijah probably expected the miracle on Mt. Carmel and the execution of the prophets of Baal to turn the nation from idols and bring national repentance. It didn't!
Our hero may have expected that his victory on Mt. Carmel would have put the fear of God in the idolatrous queen, prepare her to listen with respect to his message, and encourage the king to bring about true worship of the One True God. But it didn't! On the contrary, the Satanic nature of Jezebel the ungodly idol enthusiast was aroused, and she swore revenge for the slaughter of her priests and demanded that the prophet be put to death.
Disheartened, Elijah said: It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life — meaning: I am a failure as your prophet. You can replace me (19:4). God did not rebuke, punish, or condemn him for his disappointment. Elijah felt he was a failure in his mission. However, God did not answer his prayer for death, but gave him rest and food. On the strength of that food, he went forty days and forty nights across the dry desert of Sinai until he came to Horeb, the mount of God (19:8), where he entered a cave. Then in rapid succession, the most demonstrative symbols of Jehovah's mighty power — storm, earthquake, and fire — pass before him. Not in these, but in the still small voice, the prophet discovered the true greatness of his God-given success on Mt. Carmel (19:12).
Elijah desired that Israel be transformed into the Kingdom of God. Much was accomplished, but his real success was in the seven thousand who had taken faithfully Elijah's God for their God (19:18).
All Christians have lonely hours, days of disappointment, and moments of hopelessness, times when their highest feelings have been misunderstood and purest motives met with doubt and ridicule. God permits days when heavy burdens press hard upon our hearts and it seems that we are failures. During times like these, like Elijah, we are tempted to assume that we are failures. This experience of Elijah should encourage every Christian to look beyond appearances and listen in order to hear the still small voice of God. Elijah's real success was not the fanfare displayed on Mt. Carmel but in the lives of the seven thousand. Elijah had fulfilled the will of God. Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (don't give up) (Galatians 6:9).
Thought for Today:
God's will for us is not usually revealed in the flurry of our busy lives, but in quiet meditation on His Word. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10).
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).
19:8 Horeb =Mount Sinai; 19:14 jealous =jealous; 19:21 instruments =yokes; 20:11 harness =armor; 20:12 set yourselves in array =get ready to attack; 20:22 mark =consider what you are going to do; 20:24 rooms =positions, in their places.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts In memory of Letha Hash • Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Government Officials: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) • Country: Mexico (99.7 million) in North America • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 89% Catholic; 6% Protestant; 3.5% None; 1.5% Other (Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Baha'i) • Prayer Suggestion: Read the Word of God to build up your faith so that you can pray and ask in faith (Romans 10:17).
Optional Reading: Romans 2
Memory Verse for the Week: James 2:26