“And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kings 18:36-37; NKJV)
Elijah was a powerful and anointed man of God. He acted alone as a warrior for the Most High against the priests of Baal, praying down fire and rain atop Mount Carmel as the hundreds of Baal worshipers and the false prophets of Queen Jezebel stood in agony witnessing their “great god” defeated by the mighty Yahweh . Victory for Elijah and the people of Israel was both epic and sweet. Elijah seemed untouchable….it seemed that there was no battle too big for a prophet of the Great ‘I AM”! But then………..
Upon hearing of the defeat and slaying of the priests and prophets of Baal, Queen Jezebel became ignited with fury and vowed to take vengeance against Elijah. She sent word to Elijah declaring, “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” (1 Kings 19:2). Elijah–exhausted from the great battle he was engaged in on Mount Carmel–had enough of war and persecution and asked God that he might die. The Lord, “touching him” (vv. 6-7) knew what was best for Elijah and allowed him to remain under the juniper tree to rest, protecting him from the pursuing enemy while he was nourished spiritually and physically…until he was strengthened enough to move on.
God directed Elijah on to a forty day journey to Horeb, the mountain of God , and there God called out to Elijah, “What are you doing here?” (v. 13) to which Elijah responds openly to the Lord over his heartache at being repaid with evil over his zealousness for God along with feelings of loneliness and isolation. God didn’t strike Elijah dead for his despair, but offers instead reassurance with the promise of a companion (Elisha, a successor to train) and the comfort of knowing that there are 7,000 good men of Israel whom the Lord has anointed to fight against Jezebel and the prophets of Baal. Elijah’s enemy, would be destroyed.
Forty days had passed since Jezebel’s oath to slay Elijah–yet no one had laid a hand on him. He was weary and wanted to quit, but God loved Elijah and still had a plan and purpose for him to fulfill. The Lord empowered Elijah that day on Mount Carmel to display His wonder and might before hundreds! And God displayed His wonder and might before an audience of one as he cared for Elijah–nursing him back to health….giving him the strength to stand when he wanted to quit. And so strengthened by the Lord….Elijah carried on… (1 Kings 19)
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:17-18)