Saved from Despair
by Chris Burton
1 Kings 19:1-15
19 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword.2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3 And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel[a] touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.”6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the angel[b] of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise andeat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.
9 And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
God’s Revelation to Elijah
11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
15 Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria.
Who hasn’t been in situations where you have felt the edge of despair? Where the waters below are indistinguishable from the darkness above? Elijah is certainly bent by his circumstances but thanks be to God he was not broken. It’s amazing to know that even when we think death is our only recourse, our Father speaks life in a still, small voice.
What do you do in the grips of despair? Remember that we serve the same God who freed Elijah. Yes the same God cares for and loves you unstoppably.
Lord help us to never lose sight of Your goodness and mercy. It says in Your word that we have never seen the righteous forsaken. We stand boldly on your word and declare that no matter what it looks like, You are in charge. You are the captain of our souls. Lead us through disaster, give us Your strength to overcome every obstacle and use us to free all whom you have called. It says that He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. We believe this and thank You for being committed to us time and time again. We love You and praise You.
In Jesus’ name,