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04 The Story: Elijah

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11.25

The Story: Elijah

We are all learning and growing.
Open: Great people who are still learning
Build common ground: Do you ever have mountain top experiences in your Christian walk, and imagine yourself remaining there forever, then life happens and your spiritual buzz is gone, and you find yourself confused and frustrated? We aren’t alone with those feelings, God’s most renown servants experienced this stuff as well.
Do you ever look at someone, maybe someone in scripture, or someone around you and think, “Do they ever have struggles?”
The story:
The story:
Today we come this chapter in 1 Kings. There is this incredible guy in scripture who is used by God in very powerful ways, Elijah the prophet. And as we’ll see here, Elijah was still learning, still growing, no matter where we are in our walk, God is still revealing things about himself to us, and we have to be ready to admit our need of him, humble ourselves, and continue to be taught by the scriptures and the Holy Spirit. In the book of James, James is talking about the prayer of faith. He talks about us praying for one another for healing, confessing to one another for healing, and tells us that the prayer of a righteous man is effective as it is working, then he points us to Elijah and says, - “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours...” and then recounts how his prayers had been answered. Today, we will see Elijah after God came through in a powerful way on MT. Caramel, wrestling with his flesh. There are a number of valuable things here that we can take and apply to our lives.

1. “Even Elijah had bad days”(19:1-8)

As we walk through the story of scripture, and the story of our lives, a vital truth to our lives is understanding our humanness and God’s power. God worked through ordinary people in scripture. We see people to amazing things, but it is the power of God working in their lives and the same is true today. This is shown very clearly in this portion of 1 Kings. Elijah was a prophet who experienced some amazing things, yet, he had his struggles as we will see. - Elijah was a man. God used him in powerful ways, but as we’ll see today, he had his struggles, his fears, and his doubts. Even though we struggle with the same stuff, God wants us to trust and lay down our lives that we may be used by him. (Elisha and his plows)
As we walk through the story of scripture, and the story of our lives, a vital truth to our lives is understanding our humanness and God’s power. God worked through ordinary people in scripture. We see people to amazing things, but it is the power of God working in their lives and the same is true today. This is shown very clearly in this portion of 1 Kings. Elijah was a prophet who experienced some amazing things, yet, he had his struggles as we will see. - Elijah was a man. God used him in powerful ways, but as we’ll see today, he had his struggles, his fears, and his doubts. Even though we struggle with the same stuff, God wants us to trust and lay down our lives that we may be used by him. (Elisha and his plows)

1. God’s Servant On the Run (19:1-8)

1. In spite of a mountain top experience, Elijah finds himself in a spiritual valley. (19:1-8) or “Even Elijah is still learning” “Even Elijah had bad days” “Elijah is still learning brokenness”

Summarize 1-3 Read - (ESV)

2. The Lord Speaks to Elijah (19: 9-18) - “ God makes himself known”

4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8 And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
Feelings of discouragement and defeated often follow great victories.
i.e. after Jesus was baptised, it says, ( “Then Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil....”
-Why? Think about the story, the prophets of Baal have just been defeated, Elijah runs back ahead of chariots with horses, he has to be thinking, “this is it, the Lord has just showed himself, there will be revival in the nation of Israel, the King and Queen will repent, etc.” But, he is met with a death threat from Jezebel. Elijah is feeling defeated and depressed, yet God ministers to him. Timothy Keller points out that the angel ministers to Elijah in three ways - 1 Physically; The angel touches him (“you’re not alone”), feeds him, lets him take a nap. 2 Psychologically; God listens to him. 3 Spiritually; gives God’s word. What pulls Elijah out of his mood? Hearing and obeying the word from the Lord.
-Why? Think about the story, the prophets of Baal have just been defeated, Elijah runs back ahead of chariots with horses, he has to be thinking, “this is it, the Lord has just showed himself, there will be revival in the nation of Israel, the King and Queen will repent, etc.” But, he is met with a death threat from Jezebel. Elijah is feeling defeated and depressed, yet God ministers to him. Timothy Keller points out that the angel ministers to Elijah in three ways - 1 Physically; The angel touches him (“you’re not alone”), feeds him, lets him take a nap. 2 Psychologically; God listens to him. 3 Spiritually; gives God’s word. What pulls Elijah out of his mood? Hearing and obeying the word from the Lord.
-He leaves his servant (a prophet in training) behind because he is done. He is quitting, he wants out.
A new sense of direction
APP: How often have you seen the hand of God move and then God doesn’t have it turn out quite how you had it drawn up in your mind? -When we are wore down and not spending time in God’s presence we don’t see things clearly and we tend to focus on ourselves, “poor me, poor me.”-He leaves his servant (a prophet in training) behind because he is done. He is quitting, he wants out.
“Elijah thinks that God has let him down, but God has not let Elijah down. Elijah’s limited view of God and how God works has let Elijah.” - J.D. Greear
God is working, and still has work for us to do in spite of how we feel.
Elijah obeys the Lord’s command instead of his flesh. “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”
Elijah obeys the Lord’s command instead of his flesh. “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”
- God is working, and still has work for us to do in spite of how we feel.
- The Lord allowed His servant to pass through this conflict, that he might not exalt himself, but, being mindful of his own impotence, might rest content with the grace of his God, whose strength is mighty in the weak (, ), and who would refine and strengthen him for the further fulfilment of his calling.
. The Lord Speaks to Elijah (19: 9-18) - “ God makes himself known”
ILL:
- Elijah is commanded to go to Horeb (Sinai), where Moses had ministered. Elijah needs to be reminded that he is serving the Lord in the fellowship of the patriarchs and Moses. Their cause for the Lord is his cause. He stands and works in a line of heroes of faith and service. - The distance from Beersheba to Horeb is about 200 miles. Consequently Elijah would not have required forty days to travel there, if the intention of God had been nothing more than to cause him to reach the mountain, or “to help him on his say” (Thenius). But in the strength of the food provided by the angel Elijah was not only to perform the journey to Horeb, but to wander in the desert for forty days and forty nights, i.e., forty whole days, as Moses had formerly wandered with all Israel for forty years; that he might know that the Lord was still the same God who had nourished and sustained His whole nation in the desert with manna from heaven for forty years. And just as the forty years’ sojourn in the desert had been to Moses a time for the trial of faith and for exercise in humility and meekness (), so was the strength of Elijah’s faith to be tried by the forty days’ wandering in the same desert, and to be purified from all carnal zeal for the further fulfilment of His calling, in accordance with the divine will. What follows shows very clearly that this was the object of the divine guidance of Elijah (cf. Hengstenberg, Diss. on the Pentateuch, vol. i. 171, 172).
ILL: As a ten year old boy there was a charismatic revival in my home town. There was some really amazing things that happened. God did great things there, no theological position or argument will convince me otherwise. But the test of what was authentic and what wasn’t came in the years that followed. People who where just chasing experience became disillusioned when the season of outpouring was over. Yet, there where people who where changed forever because they realized that God had done something incredible in their lives, and the he wanted to continually be active in their lives, but what that looked like in the next season was to hear God in the whispers of life.
ILL: As a ten year old boy there was a charismatic revival in my home town. There was some really amazing things that happened. God did great things there, no theological position or argument will convince me otherwise. But the test of what was authentic and what wasn’t came in the years that followed. People who where just chasing experience became disillusioned when the season of outpouring was over. Yet, there where people who where changed forever because they realized that God had done something incredible in their lives, and the he wanted to continually be active in their lives, but what that looked like in the next season was to hear God in the whispers of life.
APP: How often have you seen the hand of God move and then God doesn’t have it turn out quite how you had it drawn up in your mind? -When we are wore down and not spending time in God’s presence we don’t see things clearly and we tend to focus on ourselves, “poor me, poor me.” Whether you’re a Jesus follower or not, you know what this feels like. You’ve had great success, or for the Christian, you’ve had a spiritual high of some kind, and there is a let down afterward. 1. People may check out spiritually; since the moment is over, they become confused about who God is and why he isn’t meeting them the same way. This can open the door to doubts, sin, frustration, depression. 2. We may fill the emptiness of the let down with self-righteousness; Since we experienced God in a mighty way, even thought we are confused as to why this didn’t end up as planned, we are holding on to that experience, or mountain top as evidence that we are spiritually elite. These people end up in a mindset of joyless religion. It is confusing because they know the lingo, they speak from experience, yet, they look nothing life Jesus. 3. We can resolve to press on in the faith; We can trust that God is working something in our hearts in the valley. We can welcome the Lord to renew us and prepare us for the next phase of life or ministry. Then the question is, will you be obedient to what he is saying?
Whether you’re a Jesus follower or not, you know what this feels like. You’ve had great success, or for the Christian, you’ve had a spiritual high of some kind, and there is a let down afterward. 1. People may check out spiritually; since the moment is over, they become confused about who God is and why he isn’t meeting them the same way. This can open the door to doubts, sin, frustration, depression. 2. We may fill the emptiness of the let down with self-righteousness; Since we experienced God in a mighty way, even thought we are confused as to why this didn’t end up as planned, we are holding on to that experience, or mountain top as evidence that we are spiritually elite. These people end up in a mindset of joyless religion. It is confusing because they know the lingo, they speak from experience, yet, they look nothing life Jesus. 3. We can resolve to press on in the faith; We can trust that God is working something in our hearts in the valley. We can welcome the Lord to renew us and prepare us for the next phase of life or ministry. Then the question is, will you be obedient to what he is saying?
Observation:
-Does this seem odd? He just witnessed God answer from heaven with fire on Mt. Caramel, he saw the Lord send rain… not he is waffling?
- Elijah is having a bad attitude - true story- but Elijah is experiencing God’s provision. God’s grace is evident in spite of Elijah’s attitude. Great news for me!
-God’s grace is evident in spite of Elijah’s attitude. Great news for me!
(7) God is strengthening Elijah for more work, not Elijah wants to give up, but God is strengthening him for what is to come -
-Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.
APP: If you are in a valley, God is strengthening you. It can be a lonely place when it feels like the pressure of life is pushing against you, but God is always there.

2. Elijah needs to be reminded of God’s power and grace (19:9-18) “Elijah is still learning the voice of God”

2. The Lord Speaks to Elijah (19: 9-18) - “ God makes himself known”

- In his flight, Elijah stops at Beersheba (; ; ; ), a place where the patriarchs had lived and sacrificed to the Lord. There Abraham had received the command to sacrifice Isaac. Elijah leaves his servant there and proceeds into the desert. He admits defeat in that, in his human strength, he fails as his ancestors also had in keeping Israel faithful to the Lord. An angel sent by the Lord ministers to him. The Lord watches over his servant and provides food again in an unusual manner ().
- The Lord allowed His servant to pass through this conflict, that he might not exalt himself, but, being mindful of his own impotence, might rest content with the grace of his God, whose strength is mighty in the weak (, ), and who would refine and strengthen him for the further fulfilment of his calling.
Van Groningen, G. (1995). 1-2 Kings. In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible (Vol. 3, p. 248). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 3, p. 178). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.2. The Lord Speaks to Elijah (19: 9-18) - “ God makes himself known”
- Elijah is commanded to go to Horeb (Sinai), where Moses had ministered. Elijah needs to be reminded that he is serving the Lord in the fellowship of the patriarchs and Moses. Their cause for the Lord is his cause. He stands and works in a line of heroes of faith and service.
- The distance from Beersheba to Horeb is about 200 miles. Consequently Elijah would not have required forty days to travel there, if the intention of God had been nothing more than to cause him to reach the mountain, or “to help him on his say” (Thenius). But in the strength of the food provided by the angel Elijah was not only to perform the journey to Horeb, but to wander in the desert for forty days and forty nights, i.e., forty whole days, as Moses had formerly wandered with all Israel for forty years; that he might know that the Lord was still the same God who had nourished and sustained His whole nation in the desert with manna from heaven for forty years. And just as the forty years’ sojourn in the desert had been to Moses a time for the trial of faith and for exercise in humility and meekness (), so was the strength of Elijah’s faith to be tried by the forty days’ wandering in the same desert, and to be purified from all carnal zeal for the further fulfilment of His calling, in accordance with the divine will. What follows shows very clearly that this was the object of the divine guidance of Elijah (cf. Hengstenberg, Diss. on the Pentateuch, vol. i. 171, 172).
Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 3, p. 180). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.

2. God’s servant needs to be reminded of God’s power and grace (19:9-18) “Elijah is still learning the voice of God”

summarize- 15-17
, (ESV) 9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” .....Summarize 15-17..... 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” Observation:
Observation:
-This is revealed in the question “What are you doing here?” The question “What are you doing here?” is intended to make Elijah fully aware of who he is, where he is, why he is there, what brought him there, and that it is the Lord who is in charge of his life and work. Elijah gives a factual answer
-This is revealed in the question “What are you doing here?” The question “What are you doing here?” is intended to make Elijah fully aware of who he is, where he is, why he is there, what brought him there, and that it is the Lord who is in charge of his life and work. Elijah gives a factual answer
-He is not they only prophet still alive, there are 7000 more and also, God’s going to raise up Elisha who would have twice the power Elijah had, and there is another prophet coming in 800 years who would be not just a great prophet, but God’s Son who would bring the salvation Elijah has just gotten a taste of. App: When we are in the depths of despair we come to dangerous conclusions.
-He is not they only prophet still alive, there are 7000 more and also, God’s going to raise up Elisha who would have twice the power Elijah had, and there is another prophet coming in 800 years who would be not just a great prophet, but God’s Son who would bring the salvation Elijah has just gotten a taste of. App: When we are in the depths of despair we come to dangerous conclusions.
God’s voice in our lives does not always come in the ways we expect him to, but that doesn’t mean he is not speaking. (While God does show himself in miraculous ways, don’t miss him in the mundane. )
- It was upon the same Mount Horeb, another name for Mount Sinai, that the Lord had revealed Himself to Moses (compare ; ). When God showed up to Moses it came with fire/wind/ earthquake God was in the fire (burning bush??)… this time in a whisper. -The Lord’s response to Elijah is similar to what Moses heard after Israel had committed spiritual fornication with the golden calf (). He is to position himself so that he can witness the actual presence of the Lord. Elijah, who may have expected a visible, overpowering demonstration of the Lord, as on Mount Carmel, experiences three possible manifestations: a strong wind, a rock-splitting earthquake, and a fire. But in a still small voice, in complete silence, the Lord makes Elijah aware of his presence. It is with the Word, not with power, might, or overwhelming forces, that Elijah is challenged. Elijah again states his case. He does not get an immediate reply to his problem. But he is encouraged by the Lord’s presence.
-Just because God isn’t working the way you expected him to work doesn’t mean that he is not at work. “
-Just because God isn’t working the way you expected him to work doesn’t mean that he is not at work. “
God was saying to Elijah, "You called fire from heaven, you had the prophets of Baal slain, and you prayed down a terrific rainstorm, but now you feel like a failure. But you must realize that I don't usually work in a manner that's loud, impressive, and dramatic. My still, small voice brings the Word to the listening ear and heart. Yes, there's a time and place for the wind, the earthquake and the fire, but most of the time, I speak to people in tones of gentle love and quiet persuasion." The Lord wasn't condemning the courageous ministry of His servant; He was only reminding Elijah that He uses many different tools to accomplish His work. God's Word comes down like the gentle shower that refreshes, cleanses, and produces life (; ).
-- It was upon the same Mount Horeb, another name for Mount Sinai, that the Lord had revealed Himself to Moses (compare ; ). When God showed up to Moses it came with fire/wind/ earthquake God was in the fire (burning bush??)… this time in a whisper. -The Lord’s response to Elijah is similar to what Moses heard after Israel had committed spiritual fornication with the golden calf (). He is to position himself so that he can witness the actual presence of the Lord. Elijah, who may have expected a visible, overpowering demonstration of the Lord, as on Mount Carmel, experiences three possible manifestations: a strong wind, a rock-splitting earthquake, and a fire. But in a still small voice, in complete silence, the Lord makes Elijah aware of his presence. It is with the Word, not with power, might, or overwhelming forces, that Elijah is challenged. Elijah again states his case. He does not get an immediate reply to his problem. But he is encouraged by the Lord’s presence.
In this day of mammoth meetings, loud music, and high-pressure promotion, it's difficult for some people to understand that God rarely works by means of the dramatic and the colossal. When He wanted to start the Jewish nation, He sent a baby—Isaac; and when He wanted to deliver that nation from bondage, He sent another baby—Moses. He sent a teenager named David to kill the Philistine giant, and the boy used a sling and a stone to do it. When God wanted to save a world, He sent His Son as a weak and helpless baby; and today, God seeks to reach that world through the ministry of "earthen vessels" (, kjv). Dr. J. Oswald Sanders states that "the whispers from Calvary are infinitely more potent than the thunder of Sinai in bringing men to repentance." - Warren Wiersbe, Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Responsible (1 Kings) 3. God’s Servant Meets His Successor (19:19-21)-
“Elijah thinks that God has let him down, but God has not let Elijah down. Elijah’s limited view of God and how God works has let Elijah.” - J.D. Greear
-After the work of the Lord on Mt. Caramel, it seems that God is calling Elijah to understand
Warren Wiersbe, Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Responsible (1 Kings) 3. God’s Servant Meets His Successor (19:19-21)-
-The Gospel: God hides Elijah in the cleft of the rock while the mountain absorbs the fire and earthquake, so God could whisper. The cross, Jesus absorbs the wrath of God (there was even an earthquake there) so that you could hear the whisper of God (which requires closeness) in spite of your sin and faliures.God has plans to continue his work through Elijah and others (15-18)
- It was upon the same Mount Horeb, another name for Mount Sinai, that the Lord had revealed Himself to Moses (compare ; ). When God showed up to Moses it came with fire/wind/ earthquake God was in the fire (burning bush??)… this time in a whisper. -The Lord’s response to Elijah is similar to what Moses heard after Israel had committed spiritual fornication with the golden calf (). He is to position himself so that he can witness the actual presence of the Lord. Elijah, who may have expected a visible, overpowering demonstration of the Lord, as on Mount Carmel, experiences three possible manifestations: a strong wind, a rock-splitting earthquake, and a fire. But in a still small voice, in complete silence, the Lord makes Elijah aware of his presence. It is with the Word, not with power, might, or overwhelming forces, that Elijah is challenged. Elijah again states his case. He does not get an immediate reply to his problem. But he is encouraged by the Lord’s presence.
- It was upon the same Mount Horeb, another name for Mount Sinai, that the Lord had revealed Himself to Moses (compare ; ). When God showed up to Moses it came with fire/wind/ earthquake God was in the fire (burning bush??)… this time in a whisper. -The Lord’s response to Elijah is similar to what Moses heard after Israel had committed spiritual fornication with the golden calf (). He is to position himself so that he can witness the actual presence of the Lord. Elijah, who may have expected a visible, overpowering demonstration of the Lord, as on Mount Carmel, experiences three possible manifestations: a strong wind, a rock-splitting earthquake, and a fire. But in a still small voice, in complete silence, the Lord makes Elijah aware of his presence. It is with the Word, not with power, might, or overwhelming forces, that Elijah is challenged. Elijah again states his case. He does not get an immediate reply to his problem. But he is encouraged by the Lord’s presence.
In order to continue on, Elijah needs to be reminded of who he is and who God is. (9-14)
God has plans to continue his work through Elijah and others (15-18)
-This is revealed in the question “What are you doing here?” The question “What are you doing here?” is intended to make Elijah fully aware of who he is, where he is, why he is there, what brought him there, and that it is the Lord who is in charge of his life and work. Elijah gives a factual answer
As someone has said, "Great doors are swung on little hinges." God uses small things to open mighty doors. That is what Elijah had to learn.
-He is not they only prophet still alive, there are 7000 more and also, God’s going to raise up Elisha who would have twice the power Elijah had, and there is another prophet coming in 800 years who would be not just a great prophet, but God’s Son who would bring the salvation Elijah has just gotten a taste of. App: When we are in the depths of despair we come to dangerous conclusions. As someone has said, "Great doors are swung on little hinges." God uses small things to open mighty doors. That is what Elijah had to learn.
ILL: As a ten year old boy there was a charismatic revival in my home town. There was some really amazing things that happened. God did great things there, no theological position or argument will convince me otherwise. But the test of what was authentic and what wasn’t came in the years that followed. People who where just chasing experience became disillusioned when the season of outpouring was over. Yet, there where people who where changed forever because they realized that God had done something incredible in their lives, and the he wanted to continually be active in their lives, but what that looked like in the next season was to hear God in the whispers of life.
ILL:
9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” Observation:
App: (Back to our last application) If we take number three and resolve to continue walking in faith, we have to realize that God is still speaking, even thought it’s a bit different than we had hoped. The reason people become disillusioned with God’s working is they miss him in the still moments. In the times when he whispers off the pages of scripture, or is evident in his creation. People get confused when God moves in their lives and then goes silent. They get frustrated with God and feel cheated. Why does he let this happen? Well, he’s God and he can do whatever he wants, but he also is using everything for our good, to mature us. I think God wants us to learn to hear from him in everyday life. The days, years and months of parenting, marriage, friendships, there is a learning process going on.
App:
The reason people become disillusioned with God’s working is they miss him in the still moments. In the times when he whispers off the pages of scripture, or is evident in his creation.
-The Gospel: God hides Elijah in the cleft of the rock while the mountain absorbs the fire and earthquake, so God could whisper. The cross, Jesus absorbs the wrath of God (there was even an earthquake there) so that you could hear the whisper of God (which requires closeness) in spite of your sin and faliures.God has plans to continue his work through Elijah and others (15-18)
Observation:
Observation:
(10 &18) Elijah is feeling sorry for himself. He struggling with this thought that he believes he is alone as God’s servant, he has let one voice (Jezebel) sound like a million. APP: It is
God doesn’t just speak through huge events. Elijah just came off a major spiritual high.
Interpretation:

3. The Call of Elijah (19:19-21)

-The question “What are you doing here?” is intended to make Elijah fully aware of who he is, where he is, why he is there, what brought him there, and that it is the Lord who is in charge of his life and work. Elijah gives a factual answer
-The design of the vision was to show to the fiery zeal of the prophet, who wanted to reform everything by means of the tempest, the gentle way which God pursues, and to proclaim the long-suffering and mildness of His nature, as the voice had already done to Moses on that very spot; hence the beautiful change in the divine appearance” (Herder, Geist der hebr. Poesie, 1788, ii. p. 52).
-The question “What are you doing here?” is intended to make Elijah fully aware of who he is, where he is, why he is there, what brought him there, and that it is the Lord who is in charge of his life and work. Elijah gives a factual answer
-The design of the vision was to show to the fiery zeal of the prophet, who wanted to reform everything by means of the tempest, the gentle way which God pursues, and to proclaim the long-suffering and mildness of His nature, as the voice had already done to Moses on that very spot; hence the beautiful change in the divine appearance” (Herder, Geist der hebr. Poesie, 1788, ii. p. 52).
Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 3, pp. 181–182). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.3. The Call of Elijah (19:19-21)
-The design of the vision was to show to the fiery zeal of the prophet, who wanted to reform everything by means of the tempest, the gentle way which God pursues, and to proclaim the long-suffering and mildness of His nature, as the voice had already done to Moses on that very spot; hence the beautiful change in the divine appearance” (Herder, Geist der hebr. Poesie, 1788, ii. p. 52).
1 Kings 19:19–21 ESV
So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.
1 Kings 19:19–21 ESV
So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.
1 Kings 19:19–21 ESV
So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.
-The Lord’s response to Elijah is similar to what Moses heard after Israel had committed spiritual fornication with the golden calf (). He is to position himself so that he can witness the actual presence of the Lord. Elijah, who may have expected a visible, overpowering demonstration of the Lord, as on Mount Carmel, experiences three possible manifestations: a strong wind, a rock-splitting earthquake, and a fire. But in a still small voice, in complete silence, the Lord makes Elijah aware of his presence. It is with the Word, not with power, might, or overwhelming forces, that Elijah is challenged. Elijah again states his case. He does not get an immediate reply to his problem. But he is encouraged by the Lord’s presence.
-But the prophet did not hear God in these events. Instead, Elijah heard the Lord in a small whisper. By this the prophet learned that sometimes God works in quiet ways (19:9b–14).
But the prophet did not hear God in these events. Instead, Elijah heard the Lord in a small whisper. By this the prophet learned that sometimes God works in quiet ways (19:9b–14).
Van Groningen, G. (1995). 1-2 Kings. In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible (Vol. 3, p. 248). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
Quotes:

3. God’s Servant Meets His Successor (19:19-21)

“God was saying to Elijah, "You called fire from heaven, you had the prophets of Baal slain, and you prayed down a terrific rainstorm, but now you feel like a failure. But you must realize that I don't usually work in a manner that's loud, impressive, and dramatic. My still, small voice brings the Word to the listening ear and heart. Yes, there's a time and place for the wind, the earthquake and the fire, but most of the time, I speak to people in tones of gentle love and quiet persuasion." The Lord wasn't condemning the courageous ministry of His servant; He was only reminding Elijah that He uses many different tools to accomplish His work. God's Word comes down like the gentle shower that refreshes, cleanses, and produces life (; ).
In this day of mammoth meetings, loud music, and high-pressure promotion, it's difficult for some people to understand that God rarely works by means of the dramatic and the colossal. When He wanted to start the Jewish nation, He sent a baby—Isaac; and when He wanted to deliver that nation from bondage, He sent another baby—Moses. He sent a teenager named David to kill the Philistine giant, and the boy used a sling and a stone to do it. When God wanted to save a world, He sent His Son as a weak and helpless baby; and today, God seeks to reach that world through the ministry of "earthen vessels" (, kjv). Dr. J. Oswald Sanders states that "the whispers from Calvary are infinitely more potent than the thunder of Sinai in bringing men to repentance."
Warren Wiersbe, Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Responsible (1 Kings) 3. God’s Servant Meets His Successor (19:19-21)
19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.
God was not in the strong wind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire. After the fire came a still, small voice. If there was one thing that Elijah did not like, it was a still, small voice. I am sure Elijah did not have that kind of a voice, but he had to learn that God moves in a quiet way -- how wonderful it is to see God moving in this way. He was teaching Elijah a great lesson. The battle was not actually won on top of Mount Carmel by fire coming down from heaven. God moves in mysterious and unostentatious ways His wonders to perform. God moves in a quiet way. God uses little things to accomplish His purpose.
J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee

3. The work of the Lord continues (19:19-21) “Elijah is learning that God’s work will continue after he’s gone”

19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.
Elisha is walking away from a prosperous life to follow the call of the Lord.
-He had not, as some have imagined, twelve-four ox yoked to a single plow, but there were twelve plows in a file, each having its own oxen and plowman, and he “was driving the twelfth pair”—that is, he had charge of the last plow in the file. It’s been suggested that Elisha had probably been educated in the schools of the prophets, so he may not have been totally unsuspecting or surprised by this.
observation:
- Elisha begs to say goodbye to his parents, but Elijah is offended by any delay. A backward-looking disciple is useless, as Jesus himself will say one day—and with a ploughing image to match ().
God is showing Elijah that he is not alone, and there will be a new generation of leaders to continue his work.
observation:
observation:
(19) This shows that he was a wealthy man. He was leaving a life that meant something to him. APP:
(21) burns his bridges that lead back to his old life. He is all in, no turning back.
Interpretation:
- He had not, as some have imagined, twelve-four ox yoked to a single plow, but there were twelve plows in a file, each having its own oxen and plowman, and he “was driving the twelfth pair”—that is, he had charge of the last plow in the file
Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 3, p. 183). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.
Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (p. 249). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.
Commentary on the Old Testament Ch. 19. Elijah’s Flight into the Desert, the Revelation of God at Horeb, and Elisha’s Call to Be a Prophet

And so, again, the statement that Elisha would slay those who escaped the sword of Jehu is not to be understood literally. Elisha slew by the word of the Lord, which brought judgments upon the ungodly, as we see from 2 Kings 2:24 (cf. Jer. 1:10; 18:7). The “seven thousand,” who had not bowed the knee before Baal, are a round number for the ἐκλογή of the godly, whom the Lord had preserved for Himself in the sinful kingdom, which was really very large in itself, however small it might be in comparison with the whole nation.

- Elijah is to take heart. God’s purposes will continue to unfold and triumph. He is preparing a new generation of leaders to do his work—and 7,000 faithful Israelites (a perfect number) are praying that it will be accomplished.
Quotes: “The greatest insult you could give to God after the cross is to doubt his love for you.” - John Owen
Knowles, A. (2001). The Bible guide (1st Augsburg books ed., p. 157). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg.
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