Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reassurance for the Tired and Afraid 4/2/2014

"Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, 'So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your [a]life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.' And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.  But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, 'It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.'  1 Kings 19:2-4

Have you ever done all that you think you can to lead a righteous life while doing the work of the Lord only to feel like you have accomplished nothing and still experience fear at the hands of your enemies?  This was Elijah's problem.

Elijah had just famously taken on 450 prophets of the god Baal in an epic "whose God is real" showdown and prevailed.  In so doing, Yahweh was proven to be alive, real and responsive and powerful.  This resulted in the demise of the false god's prophets and the turning of people's previously corrupt hearts.

Of course the person who introduced the worship of Baal and therefore managed the prophets was the king's wicked wife Jezebel.  As might be imagined, she was none to happy about such a stunning loss.  She therefore threatened to end Elijah's life in the most vehement way she could.

Beloved, it was human of Elijah to run, hide and request to be removed from God's service.  Depending on one's level of activity and commitment, the work of God is not for the faint of heart.  While many of us make excuses about not attending worship, sharing the gospel, helping our fellow human being or reading God's word, this man had stood alone with God against a king, 450 adversaries and an entire nation that was not rooting for him.  Even after prevailing, his life was in danger.  It is natural for us to become weary.  But it is at times like these that our faith must be at its strongest, because it is at times like these that God makes his presence felt most.

Elijah slept.  An angel from the Lord woke him and instructed him to eat, drink and refresh himself with nourishment the angel himself had provided.  Once done, Elijah laid down and the same thing happened again.  This time the angel told him about a great journey ahead of him and how he needed to strengthen himself for it.  The effects of this meal lasted 40 days.  And when the journey reached its conclusion, God met Elijah at the entrance to a cave in the form of a small whisper on the wind.

If you are tired and afraid, know that God has you, God provides for you,
God sustains you, God protects you, God still has work for you to do and in the end, God will meet you.



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