A Devotion Based On 1 King 19:1-18

Elijah was a prophet during the reign of Ahab in Israel. Ahab was known for being the most wicked king who reigned over the nation. He was known for idolatrous worship and marrying his pagan wife Jezebel who was a zealous participant in the worship of Baal (god of storm and fertility). She gave a decree to find and kill all God’s prophets. But Ahab’s second in command Obadiah was a devoted follower of God and he decided to hide and protect a hundred of God’s prophets in caves instead.

When God called and appointed Elijah, he anointed him with miraculous signs and wonders. He was given the power to halt the rain to bring judgement to Israelites. He was saved from famine by ravens bringing him bread and meat. When God asked him to move to the village of Zarepath, he performed other miracles, which included creating never-empty jar of flour and oil and raising the widow’s son from the dead. Those signs and wonders have brought the widow to believe in God of Israel, the One True God. The biggest miracle of Elijah’s ministry was when he challenged Ahab and 450 Baal Priests to a fiery showdown at Mount Carmel and right after that he gathered and killed all those prophets of Baal.

Elijah has done many wonderful and amazing feats in God’s name. These highlights and favors in his ministry are surely signs that God was with him and working through him. But then the unimaginable happened, while he was still buzzing with the emotional high of the Mount Carmel victory, he heard a threat from Jezebel and he immediately crumbled in fear. He was afraid for his life.

Elijah spiraled down to depression and became suicidal because he felt that he was alone and defeated – which was not true at all! As a matter of facts, he knew there were about a hundred prophets of God alive and well, protected by Obadiah (1 Kings 18:13) and oh by the way, he just killed 450 Baal’s prophets!! The smell of fire and blood probably still lingered in the air and Elijah had already forgotten about the victorious event.

In the midst of Elijah’s very low point, God revealed himself not in the spectacular ways like the previous phenomenons he experienced before. To this discouraged and downhearted prophet, God responded in gentleness. Instead of rebuking him, the Lord gently pulled him from despair by giving him hope and a mission to do (1 Kings 19:15,16) as a reminder that he was not alone (verse 18).

In doing God’s commission – reaching out to unbelievers, most specifically our “cousins”, we would face oppression, threats, rejections and alienation. The government, workplace, family, schools; they are not likely to give their supports and approvals – just like how the people of his time were against Elijah. Most our efforts would seem fruitless, and it might be easier to just give up or turn a blind eye on them. Then, we thought maybe it will be easier if we are the majority, if we have a strong influence and the upper hand.

But, you know what? God can use the darkest, lowest moments and positions to love and bless others still. Do not forget that in our weaknesses, he is strong. We can certainly lean on his grace and power to do what he wants us to do. No matter the circumstances, no matter how dark the night is. He is the Light and through him we can be a light to others too – even in our darkest hours.