Highlights In Today's Reading:
The story continues as wicked Queen Jezebel lays plans to meet Elijah to morrow (19:2). He is miraculously sustained by angels and we read what he goes through and where he finally finds God (19:9-12). Read the plan of God to save the nation and provide a successor for Elijah (19:15-19). God uses wicked Ahab and proves to him that I am the Lord (20:28-34).
When God sent fire from heaven to burn up the sacrifice on the altar that Elijah had built on Mount Carmel, he expected the miracle to turn the nation from Baal worship and bring about national repentance. Apparently, Elijah believed that the miraculous fire from heaven and the end of the drought would prove that Baal was a false god, and could even result in Ahab and Jezebel's conversion. This would mean a return to Jerusalem, the only God-appointed worship center, and the kingdoms of Judah and Israel would once again become a united nation. But when Jezebel proclaimed that she would have him put to death, Elijah assumed he had failed to turn not only Ahab and Jezebel but the nation as well.
In fear of Jezebel's threat to kill him, Elijah, in this hour of deep disappointment, fled south beyond the border of his country into the desert and cried out to God: It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers (19:4). The Lord permitted this moment of despair and loneliness so the prophet would look beyond outward appearances and listen to the still small voice of God (19:12).
God did not rebuke or punish Elijah for becoming discouraged. God could have said: "Shame on you." But, instead, He lovingly comforted Elijah by providing for his physical needs and sent an angel to supply nourishment after his long journey (19:5-6). Our loving Heavenly Father is much more compassionate than some of our friends. Often our mountaintop spiritual victories will be quickly followed by opposition or a time of desert testing. Never forget, we are not called to be successful, but faithful. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise (Heb. 10:35-36).
There are times we may become so discouraged that we feel our lives are not counting for God. But, like Elijah, we too have the same loving Heavenly Father who will minister to us and encourage our hearts.
Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Gal. 6:9).
Thought for Today:
It does not matter how influential or powerful we think we are; sooner or later we all need the loving provision and care of God.
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 Staff: Bernice Rathbone • Government Officials: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) • Country: Kirabati (86,000) 3 islands in southwestern Pacific • Major languages: English and Gilbutese • Religious freedom • 52% Roman Catholic; 44% Protestant; 2% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Wives, ask the Lord to give you a submissive spirit to your husbands as if it were to the Lord (Eph. 5:22).
Optional Reading: Romans 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:14