“The best of men are but men at their best.”
Elijah proves this old adage. And the Bible affirms it, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours….” (James 5:17).
One thing the Bible never does is deify the men and women of the Bible. Elijah was not a super-duper saint never struggling with his spiritual life or walk with God. I am glad the Bible does not sugar coat the saints. They, (just like your pastor) had their ups and downs, victories and defeats, were faithful and fearful, and worshiped and worried. We (especially pastors) would like to think we have it all-together. But there was only one perfect person in the Bible, our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Kings 19 stands is a bold and bracing contrast to 1 Kings 17-18. In 17 and 18, we see Elijah strong in the POWER of God. In 19, we see him weak and discouraged. In 17-18, we see him PRODUCTIVE for God. In 19, we see him withering in the desert. In 17-18 we see him dependent upon the PROMISES of God. In 19, he is discouraged and dispirited. In 17-18, we see him keenly aware of the PRESENCE of God. In 19, we see him oblivious to God. In 17-18, we see him alive with the PURPOSE of God.
What happened? Life! It is impossible to live and not experience weakness, faithlessness, discouragement and defeat. I believe it is all the more difficult if you are an observant believer. You are hated by the world, (John 15:18-19); plagued by the flesh, (Galatians 5:19-21); opposed by the Devil, (1 Peter 5:8).
But in Sunday’s lesson you will learn what the Prophet learned. You cannot out run God, or resign from His service. He is the “HOUND OF HEAVEN” (Francis Thompson). You can flee him throughout the labyrinths of life, but there is no escaping His Lovingkindness!
If you have ever been discouraged, defeated, dispirited, dejected, or disgraced. Rejoice you are in good company, the company of prophets. Join me this Sunday and learn the “lesson of lasting.”
Here is a brief outline of chapter 19.
1. Jezebel Rants, 1-2
2. Elijah Runs, 3-4
3. The Angel Revives, 5-8
4. God Restores, 9-21