1 Kings 19:1-9 (CEV)
Elijah Runs Away from Ahab and Jezebel
19 Ahab told his wife Jezebel what Elijah had done and that he had killed the prophets. 2 She sent a message to Elijah: “You killed my prophets. Now I’m going to kill you! I pray that the gods will punish me even more severely if I don’t do it by this time tomorrow.”
3 Elijah was afraid when he got her message, and he ran to the town of Beersheba in Judah. He left his servant there, 4 then walked another whole day into the desert. Finally, he came to a large bush and sat down in its shade. He begged the Lord, “I’ve had enough. Just let me die! I’m no better off than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down in the shade and fell asleep.
Suddenly an angel woke him up and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 Elijah looked around, and by his head was a jar of water and some baked bread. He sat up, ate and drank, then lay down and went back to sleep.
7 Soon the Lord’s angel woke him again and said, “Get up and eat, or else you’ll get too tired to travel.” 8 So Elijah sat up and ate and drank.
The food and water made him strong enough to walk forty more days. At last, he reached Mount Sinai, the mountain of God, 9 and he spent the night there in a cave.
Now Elijah is not so brave…. When he realises the consequences of his actions, he runs away.
I have a lot of sympathy for Elijah. He’s done the grand thing, shown how great God is, and then somehow has ended up killing the prophets of Baal. From a mighty triumph, to a place of anger, murder and shame. He soon finds himself wandering the desert.
I don’t know if you’ve ever run away, physically or metaphorically. I have. Not so much from God, but from life. I ran away to the seaside, which was just what I needed for restoration, refocusing and the strength to carry on.
Elijah ran to the desert. I’m sure that was not just literally. That was where God met him and restored him body and soul (p60).
And here God met him in his moment of need.
Maggi reminds us that we do not need to get ourselves to the place where we can hear God. But for Elijah, God is in his place of pain, despair, fear and hunger. His act of bravado has passed, but God has not left him. It is most definitely now not about Elijah, and all about God.
Thank you Lord,
that you find me when I need you;
that you are with me,
even when I run from you;
that you restore me,
body and soul;
that whatever happens,
you never leave me
This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it. Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below. If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.