Elijah! I love Elijah. Mighty prophet of God. Strong. Assured. Obedient to God’s commands. Through Elijah, God displayed His authority and great power to the people of Israel who had turned away! Fire from heaven burned up the soaking wet sacrifice… after futile attempts by the priests of Baal, god of fertility and nature, were unsuccessful. “Your god is no god!” … and 450 prophets of Baal perished.
Through Elijah, God withheld rain and a great drought resulted.
Through Elijah, God ended this drought with wind and abundant water… and Elijah miraculously ran before the chariot of King Ahab to a town fourteen miles away.
…Then a vengeful Queen Jezebel declared death to Elijah and he ran away in fear… and ran… and ran… until he ended up in a faraway cave in which to hide.
There God spoke to him, “What are you doing here Elijah?
And Elijah replied, I have given you my all God! Haven’t I obeyed you as best I can? I’ve been very busy doing all these things for You. Now look at these hard-headed, self-centered, angry people! They have rejected you and killed all your other prophets and now I’m the only one left! It’s useless. I might as well die too!”
I love Elijah! Doesn’t his story express the fear and discouragement we all feel at times?!
So, God passed by before that cave. There came a great wind, earthquake, and fire… but God was not in them. He who had spoken so forcefully and powerfully previously so that all would know His authority, did not speak through them this time… God had Elijah’s full attention! But where was God?!
Then there came a still small voice, a quiet calm. Elijah heard the voice of God asking the same question He had asked before, “What are you doing here Elijah?” …and, still focused on himself, Elijah gave the same answer!
But in the quiet of that moment, came assurance that God was with him. “Go back Elijah. I have a job for you. There will be others to help you, kings to anoint and a prophet to succeed you. Why, there are 7000 prophets who will rise up to serve me!”
I love Elijah! His story gives us all hope and assurance. “Go back. I’m with you. You are not alone,” God says. And so, He speaks in that still small voice, in quiet calm amidst our storms. God had not given up on them. He hadn’t given up on Elijah and He hasn’t given up on us! He is mighty. He is faithful.
May we find rest and courage in Him, giving thanks for His promise and faithful presence. Amen.
*Elijah’s story – 1 Kings Chapters 17-19 & 2 Kings Chapter 2
Charlotte-Anne Allen, 5/7/2017