Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fear. Warranted?

And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. (1 Kings 19:1-2 KJV)

We’ve been looking at Elijah’s life on Wednesday nights. A couple of weeks ago, Pastor’s lesson was on Elijah facing down Baal’s prophets and priests – 850 people that Jezebel supported at the king’s table (1 Kings 18:19.) There had been no rain for over three years and Elijah made an offer to the people:

And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. (1 Kings 18:24 KJV)

The scene is described in the remainder of chapter 18 – Baal was powerless, God all powerful, false priests died, rains came and Ahab went home to his wife to tell her all that Elijah had done. She didn’t like it. She vowed that if she had not killed Elijah by the next day, let the gods kill her. Elijah left:

And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. (1 Kings 19:3-4 KJV)

We had just seen how powerful God is, Elijah himself was the center of attention in that proof. But now he was not only headed away from perceived danger, but asking for death.

Before blaming him for lack of faith or for not seeking God’s will in the matter, take an inventory of the times we’ve done the same thing. Oh, not fearing Jezebel, but fearing the unknown – right after we’d seen evidence of God’s mercy and love. Is our life really in God’s hands – or have we taken back the burdens and not trusted Him to provide? Feeling lonely in your battles? Elijah did, mentioning it twice in conversation with God:

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. (1 Kings 19:9-10 KJV)

Again in verses 13 and 14, Elijah cries out his aloneness – but God knows better:

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. (1 Kings 19:18 KJV)

That’s not a lot in the national of Israel, is it? Perhaps there are not a lot today who have not bowed against God, but we can be certain we are no more alone than Elijah was, no matter how it feels. The reality is our fears are not warranted. Our God is able. Can we be as able as three Jewish men:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:16-18 KJV)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)