Elijah Flees Jezebel
Read: 1 Kings 19:1-18
In this passage in 1 Kings we meet the prophet Elijah while he is fleeing from the wrath of the Israelites who want to kill him. For a prophet, fleeing from the people you have been called to whom to “truth tell” is tantamount to abject failure of your given mission. Elijah himself admits to this in the way that he asks the Lord to take his life. In this moment of despair, fear, and hopelessness an angel of the Lord provided for his needs: rest, food, and water. Elijah is then sent on a different quest, one to the holy mountain of God: Mount Sinai.
On Sinai, in a cave, God asks Elijah an odd question: “What are you doing here?” This question is posed even though it was an angel of God who sent him there, yet that doesn’t seem to be the purpose of the question. It was not so much the place, which does have extreme significance, that seemed to be the point of the question but rather the purpose or what Elijah needed. Elijah responds in a way that communicates that all is lost when it comes to his purpose, his calling, his mission that had been given to him.
God, knowing Elijah needed His presence, revealed himself to Elijah in order to re-affirm him and renew his call and send him out on mission. However, God does not show up in the spectacular. God does not show up in the earth shaking, mountain moving gale, or the consuming blaze but instead God shows up in but a whisper. It was not the supernatural phenomena that contained the empowering presence of God but it was contained in a still small voice. It was a whisper, being in the presence of God, that gave Elijah a new word, calling, and mission and renewed his energy and commitment to God. Where Elijah might have thought he needed the spectacular, God showed that He will show up just as powerfully in a still small voice.
- What is something that stood out to you from the reading?
- Have you ever had a time when you were completely exhausted and felt like all was lost? How did God provide for you in that time?
- How do you think Elijah knew God’s voice was not in the wind, earthquake, or fire? How did he know it was in the gentle whisper? If you were in Elijah’s shoes in that moment, do you think you would have recognized God’s voice?
- At the end of God’s message, God mentions that Elijah is not alone as he thought- there are seven thousand others in Israel who want to serve God! God was pointing Elijah toward the hope of community; what community is God drawing you toward to remind you you’re not alone?