Elijah's Flight (08-09-21)
Having defeated and executed the prophets of the foreign God, Baal, Elijah is threatened by King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, and runs for his life.
Bible Reading: 1 Kings 19:3-8
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, Lord," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
I can remember times in my own life which have been really demanding of my time, energy and emotions. Events, like running training courses in my previous career, organising large family gatherings or navigating a way through major changes in the life and ministry of the local church. No matter how successfully each of these situations worked out, they often seem to have the potential to leave me feeling deflated afterwards.
Perhaps it is not surprising that so many so-called celebrities struggle with mental health issues or addictions or even, sadly, take their own lives. Whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual, great highs often seem to be followed by great lows.
Standing alone against four hundred and fifty prophets of the false god, Baal, Elijah has just witnessed a mighty victory for God. You might think he would feel triumphant, but no. Following a threat from Queen Jezebel, a staunch supporter of Baal and the false prophets, Elijah has fled into the wilderness, despairing of life, and showing all the signs of depression.
Rather than ignoring his feelings, or trying to self-medicate and sort it out himself, the saving grace for Elijah is that he calls out to God in total honesty, "I have had enough, Lord," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." And God responds to his needs with grace and compassion. His angels minister to Elijah twice, and Elijah sleeps, he eats, he drinks and, revived he continues on his journey.
Are there times when you feel low, depressed, or despairing of life? Be honest with God, call out to him, and rest in him, like Elijah did; he will minister to your need and bring you through. And thank God for the times his angels, in one form or another, have ministered to you in our need.
Let us also be aware of those around us who are struggling. Let us pray for them, that God will minister his grace to them. Let us also be prepared to be ministering angels ourselves, enabling them to find rest and sustenance so that, in time, they will continue on their journey with God.
For those I know who are struggling with the pressures of life,
may your angles minister to them and restore them on their journey
Blessed be your name