1 Kings 19 tells us of an episode in Elijah’s life. He had just shown the power of God against the false gods his people were worshiping. You would expect Elijah to fell powerful, trusting God to defeat all obstacles.
Instead, we see Elijah in fear for his life because of a threat from Jezebel.
Vs 2-3: Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3 And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
You may look at this and think how ridiculous to have fear, but how often do we do this in our own lives? We can see a great victory through God. We should be on top of the mountain.
In the Valley
Instead, we find ourselves in a valley, fearful and discouraged. So often this valley happens after a major victory. The good news is, the story doesn’t end here.
Elijah gave up, but God did not. That’s the thing to remember. God is there even when we are discouraged.
Vs. 5-8: Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an [b]angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on [c]coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the [d]angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.
Although Elijah felt hopeless, God sent nourishment and comfort. He sent help to prepare Elijah for the next journey planned for him.
So often we don’t even notice the nourishment and comfort God sends to us. It’s there though. When we don’t know what we’re doing, God still has a plan.
The Call of God
We can even feel like there’s no one there for us. That’s what Elijah felt. He thought he was the only one left that truly believed in God.
This made him fearful to continue the plans God had for him. He told God he was standing alone and discouraged.
God didn’t argue with him in that moment. Instead, he sent Elijah to listen for his voice on the mountain.
Vs 11-12: Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [e]a still small voice.
Elijah followed his instructions. He went and listened. God’s presence showed itself in mighty winds, earthquakes, and fire. It wasn’t through these methods that he spoke to Elijah though.
The Voice of God
Instead, God came to speak to Elijah in a “still small voice”. God came to him in a place of peace and calm.
He came to Elijah to bring him comfort. He came to show Elijah that he was not truly alone. Although Elijah felt isolated, God had others ready to help him.
Vs 15-18: Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. 16 Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. 18 Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
After Elijah once again said he was alone, God proved he was not. God gave Elijah names of people that would help him. He even sent him to find a helper God had prepared for Elijah.
He then reminded Elijah that there were others that were still faithful. In that moment, though God didn’t have to prove himself, he did.
Comfort in Times of Discouragement
He brought comfort and help when Elijah was willing to listen. And that’s the point. Elijah had to open his eyes and his heart to God in that moment to get the encouragement he needed.
What if Elijah had not listened though? So often we close our hearts and minds to God when we’re discouraged. We make it impossible to see the help that God’s willing to send us.
But Elijah did listen. He left the mountain and did what God told him to do. Because of his faithfulness to listen to God, he eventually got full deliverance in the form of God taking him from the earth.
While God’s not likely to send that same deliverance to us, he does have a plan if we’ll stop and listen. When we’re discouraged and fearful, he’s still there, waiting for us to stand up and prepare for the next part of our journey.
The question is, will you be ready to listen? If you’ve felt discouraged, just know that God’s still there with you. Take time to hear his voice before you give up.
Have you ever felt alone? How did you take the time to hear God’s voice?