1 Kings 19:3-5, “3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” 5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”
The following is a message that I was deeply inspired by from Charles Swindoll’s book Elijah, about the time in Elijah’s life when he went from victory to depression. Here are some great truths for us to learn:
Firstly, Elijah was not thinking realistically or clearly. Who made the threat? It was Jezebel not God that came against Elijah. How was Elijah able to so boldly challenge 450 prophets of Baal, but yet this one woman caused him to feel so threatened and vulnerable to his core? Often it’s the little things that we make bigger than God in our eyes that seem to threaten all that we hold dear, and all that we identify with.
Secondly, Elijah separated himself from strengthening relationships. Why did he get alone? Often when one is depressed one tends to retreat to be by oneself, instead of connecting as one should, often one will disconnect at the time he or she so desperately needs others. However when this happens others are pushed away and whatever encouragement others try to give, it is appreciated but not received or heard as much as it is needed. One looks inward and refuses for a time to look outward.
Thirdly, Elijah was caught in the backwash of a great victory. Often after a victory, often comes temptation and vulnerability. Elijah previously battled against and proved that God NOT Baal is the true God that manifested Himself by answering by fire.
Fourthly, Elijah was physically exhausted and emotionally spent. When we are in this state, our spirit is affected. We tend to drag, become sluggish, tired, weary in well doing, etc….
Fifthly, Elijah got lost in self-pity. Have you ever had the “victim mentality,” whereby you blamed the world, “the system,” and everyone and everything else for your unhappiness? The blame game has been played since Adam blamed Eve when he was questioned by God. When we are in self pity, as far as we are concerned we are the only one with problems, and they are larger than life, even greater than the Lord. God will not allow us to stay in self – pity if we are following Him, because He has too much for us to do, and to come to glorify His name in victory, and not in defeat.
God’s ministered to Elijah. God allowed Elijah a time of rest and refreshment. God communicated wisely with Elijah (v.9), and gave Elijah a close personal friend (v.19-21) ELISHA.
Elijah reminds us. Let’s look upafter the Lord graciously delivers us from our depression. Let’s look up when he allow us rest and refreshment following an exhausting schedule that has taken its toll on us. Let’s look up and thank Him when He gently and patiently speaks to us from his Word after we’ve climbed out of a pit of self-pity. Let’s look upand praise Him when He faithfully proved the companionship and affirmation of a friend who understands and encourages us. Let’s look up and acknowledge the Giver more than the gift.
Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><