#165 Arise and Eat 1 Kings 19:5Jun 19th, 2012 | By admin | Category: The Basics (click on Article name)
My speculations, imaginations and exaggerations usually lead to discouragement. It’s time to let go of my expectations and to embrace His!
Much love in Christ,
#165 Arise and Eat 1 Kings 19.5
What made Elijah so discouraged? Perhaps it was a sense of failure that the revival he so fervently desired did not fulfill the extent of his expectations…
The messenger of Jezebel stood breathlessly before Elijah and made her announcement. “May the gods curse my very life with the vilest of curses if by this time tomorrow I do not slaughter you as my prophets were slaughtered.” 1 Kings 19:2 The words were like a slap in the face to the prophet of God. The tender beginnings of reform he may have seen in Ahab had been trampled upon and uprooted by the influence of his mercenary wife. Elijah felt overwhelmed with sorrow. He had hoped that revival would sweep over Israel and Israel’s King. 1 Kings 18:37 Now he saw it’s limitations. Disappointment and exhaustion overtook his reason and his heart began to pound harder. Ahab had told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 1 Kings 19:1 She was full of rage, and Ahab would not intervene. She would hunt him down, and she would kill him.
The momentous events of the previous day faded in the face of this violent threat. Her raging words rang in his ears over and over again. Elijah was afraid. Without a second thought he summoned his servant, hastily gathered supplies and ran for his life. He fled south, for one hundred miles, past Dotham, Shechem, Bethel, past Jerusalem, Bethlehem and down to Beersheba which was located on the southern most boundary of Judah. The journey was arduous and exhausting. Elijah was intent on distancing himself from Jezebel’s threat. He hardly noticed the desert flowers that bloomed overnight and the new signs of life as the rains prompted the earth to bring forth new signs of life once again.
Beersheba was a place that was associated with the wells that Abraham and Isaac had dug, but Elijah was too preoccupied with the next stage of his journey to draw refreshment from the history of his fathers. Despite the protests of his loyal servant and friend, Elijah demanded that his servant stay behind. He traveled alone and continued south, one days journey over the wide expanse of sand hills of the Negev desert. (JFB 265) Longing for shade and a safe place to rest he sat beneath the willow-like slender branches of a juniper tree.
“I have had enough, Lord,” he prayed. “Take my life. I am not better than my fathers.” He still could not bear the disappointment of a limited revival. The stunning victory at Mount Carmel did not reform the King or Jezebel. Without strong leadership the hearts of the people of Israel would lapse again into idolatry. His efforts had accomplished no more than the temporary awakenings that were inspired by the obedience of his spiritual ancestors. Elijah sighed and stretched out on the ground shaded by the white leaves of the ten-foot juniper, and fell asleep.
Suddenly Elijah felt someone touch his arm. It startled him and he awoke with a surge of fear. “Get up and eat,” an angel commanded.
Elijah looked around and there by his head was a cake of bread. The freshly baked bread made Elijah stomach growl and Elijah noticed that hot coals were all that remained of the fire upon which his meal had been prepared. By the fire stood a jar of water. He was so exhausted and depressed he heartily yet mechanically ate and drank, barely tasting the meal, and then lay down again.
“Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you,” the angel spoke as he touched his arm for the second time. He got up and ate and drank a second helping. This time he noticed that the bread was delicious and the water was refreshing. Strengthened by the provision of the Lord, he traveled for forty days and forty nights until he reached a colossal wedge of barren rocks that rose to 8,000 feet. He stood on holy ground, for this was Mount Horeb, the place where Moses had been given the Law.
What do we do in the throes of discouragement?
We can get stuck over an opportunity lost, or in some failure. Or we can feel the feeling of regret and sorrow, accept what is, claim forgiveness and cleansing and go forward. There is a place for the grief of falling short of the glory of God. It is called ‘godly sorrow’ and it leads to repentance, to adjustment and transformation. There is another type of sorrow or guilt, and it is toxic because it leads to death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
Spilt Milk and Flat Tires
Resisting the process of going forward through our failures and challenges is like crying over spilt milk or kicking a flat tire out of frustration. We can focus on how much we don’t like it, why we don’t agree with it, how things should be different, or we can get stuck in focusing on how we or others have failed. What has happened has happened. What is, is. No matter how hard we cry, the milk has been spilt. No matter how long we kick the flat tire, it will still be flat. So why not clean up the spill, and milk the cow? Why not remove the tire, have it patched, or buy a new one?
God told Elijah, “Arise and Eat.”
“Get up and do the next thing.” If we are inspired by God, what is the next thing?
It is to trust Him absolutely and to pray on the basis of His redemption.
Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step. O. Chambers
Arise and Eat. Get up and absorb the life inspiring energy of the truth of God’s Truth and perspective.
May we let go of our expectation and find life in His!