No matter how many times I study the life of Elijah, I just can’t fully understand what happens in 1 Kings 19. In chapter 17, Elijah prays that no rain will fall until he asks for it – and no rain fell for the next 3 and a half years (James 5:17-18)! Later in the chapter GOD works through Elijah to raise a child from the dead. In the next chapter, GOD works through Elijah by sending fire from heaven to defeat the king and his 450 false prophets. Directly after the king and his prophets had been defeated, Elijah prayed for rain and the rain started to fall! Wouldn’t it have been amazing to have been Elijah? Surely after all of these incredible miracles that GOD had worked through him he would have been unshakable in his faith!
Wrong. That’s why I don’t understand 1 Kings 19. GOD had proven beyond the shadow of any doubt that HE was with Elijah no matter what. Elijah knew GOD was on his side, but he didn’t think GOD was big enough to solve his problem in 1 Kings 19. What was his problem? The queen, Jezebel, wanted him dead. After Elijah heard the news that Jezebel wanted him dead, the Scripture says, “Then he (Elijah), was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life…” (1 Kings 19:3). I’m not sure what was going on in Elijah’s head in this passage, but it seems to me that Elijah must have had a severe case of short term memory loss. All it took to make him forget the amazing power of his God was a little threat from a little person.
I think it doesn’t make sense, until I realize that I have been guilty of the same thing. GOD has given us every reason to have faith that HE will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5-6), and yet how many times do we seem to forget the amazing power of GOD when we feel our lives threatened? How many times are we proclaiming our faith in GOD and running for our lives the next? Ashamedly, I must answer: more than I would care to admit.
Let us all learn from Elijah’s example and realize that GOD is always with us. HIS presence is more than able to sustain any adversity that we might face in life. May we never again let our faith waiver at little threats.