May 14th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah? “He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left and now they are trying to kill me too. The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi king over Israel and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet, I reserve seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.

I Kings 19:13-18

Elijah had experienced the power of God in a spectacular and unparalleled manner. At his word, the rains were shut off and Israel experienced a three-and-a-half-year drought. Elijah was miraculously fed by ravens. At his word, the widow with whom God directed him to sojourn during the drought experienced an unending supply of food which came out of her very last meal.

Through his powerful intercession, Elijah petitioned God and brought back the widow’s dead son to life. Through his petition, God brought fire down from Heaven to consume the sacrifice. Elijah also prayed and the rains came down to quench the drought. Elijah was so full of the Holy Spirit’s power that he outran the horse and chariot of Ahab as Ahab raced to get home before the rains overtook him. Elijah was the top pedigree of a true, hungry and powerful servant of God.

With all that Elijah had been used by God for, it was easy to think that he “was it.” How could such a powerful person ever doubt God’s protective power? But he did. Elijah felt overworked by God, fell into a “depressive state” and wished that he were dead. He pitifully surmised that he was the only one of God’s prophets left. Everyone had turned their backs on God and there was no one else whom God could depend on for His Kingdom agenda. But boy, was he wrong! God plainly said to him, “I reserve seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

There are two valuable lessons to think over:

First: Keep strong but humble as you serve the LORD. You are not the only one who has not bowed to Baal. There are seven thousand others with you on the journey. God knows what you do not know so never presume anything.

Second: Be careful what you ask for. God might just do it to your surprise! Elijah said he was tired and wanted to quit – in fact he wanted to die. God was rather gracious and did not allow him to die. God asked him to anoint Elisha to replace him and graciously took him to heaven. Remember what the Bible says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” (Proverbs 18:21).

Prayer: Lord, I thank you that I am never alone because you have promised never to leave nor forsake me. I am confident that because you started this good work in me you will faithfully complete it. Amen.