11(1Kings 19) All by Myself
I. Elijah is threatened, runs for his life (19:1-4)
§ This threat comes on the heals of a spectacular display of God’s power.
§ Elijah was living in strength of the spectacular.
§ Experience-based strength can be fleeting.
§ Elijah may have felt Ahab was convinced, but Jezebel was another story.
§ He thought the job of evangelism was his alone and Jezebel, unimpressed, could undermine all.
§ This is the all too familiar mistake that follows a great spiritual moment in our own life.
II. Elijah prays that he might die (19:4-8)
A. Feels undeserving of life (4-5)
§ The mighty prophet had stood for God as boldly as any of those who had gone before.
§ Yet here he was in the desert wasteland, the very symbol of a wasted life.
B. God sustains Elijah (6-8)
§ God would tenderly nourish and lead his prophet to a place where he would get some much needed instruction.
§ Elijah continued south until he arrived at Mt. Sinai.
III. Elijah despairs over his circumstance (19:9-10)
§ God’s interrogation called for a minute self-examination.
§ Did he now understand his failure?
§ No, he did not. His soul was bitter at having served God so earnestly and spectacularly and yet having experienced rejection and solitary exile.
IV. God displays power over nature, but only speaks softly to Elijah.
§ These physical phenomena were known to be often precursors of God’s coming.
§ There followed a faint whisper – Elijah knew it instantly. It was God.
§ What a lesson – even God did not always operate in the realm of the spectacular.
V. Teaching the lesson.
§ Elijah was to go back to the northern kingdom, the place where he had veered off the track with God in his spiritual life.
§ Elijah still had work to accomplish for God.
§ He had a threefold task: anoint Hazael over Syria, Jehu over Israel, and Elisha as successor.
§ God would judge, through these appointments.
§ God then set the record straight: you are not alone Elijah.