Applications from 1 Kings
At the close of chapter 18 everyone is heading to Jezreel coming down from Mt. Carmel as the rain begins to fall. Once they arrive Ahab immediately tells Jezebel what all Elijah had done. In a rage Jezebel threatens Elijah’s life. Elijah decides to leave and heads to Beer-sheba. Leaving his servant Elijah travels into the wilderness & rests under a tree. While resting an angel comes and feeds him and sends him on a journey. The rest and meal give him strength for 40 days/nights to get to Horeb.
By all implications it seems Ahab and his people have submitted to the fact that Yahweh is God and Elijah is His prophet. Ahab & Elijah were once at odds, but this seems to be fixed. The people are no doubt happy with Elijah as they feel the rain.
As soon as he gets home, Ahab rushes in to tell his ‘dear’ wife the miraculous thing he has just seen! Elijah called down fire from heaven! Elijah said it would and it started to rain!
Jezebel (Where is Baal?) had one thing on her mind…What happened to the Baal prophets? She wanted to know what happened to her army of false religion spreaders. Ahab shared the news, “Um, well, (gulp) after they couldn’t come through Elijah had the people kill them.”
Right at this moment things changed for Elijah. Ahab is happy…the kingdom has rain. The people are happy. Elijah is happy this task is complete. Jezebel is furious….enough to make a death threat.
You can’t please everybody! Especially if you intend to please God. As much as there is good there is also evil (up/down, black/white, right/wrong, God/anti). Elijah was having a good day until the one person just crazy enough to do it decides to threaten to kill him.
Elijah does the only thing you really can do here. He gets away from the one who is unhappy. I have this habit of trying to appease one unhappy person, while everyone else is happy. Know going into things that everyone will not be happy and focus on the good rather than the bad. Like Elijah, stay away from the negativity. Did Jezebel really intend to kill him? I think not, she would have just killed him instead of warning. She just wanted to be negative. Stay away from people like this. They make hollow threats and they are mean. Avoid them knowing you cannot please everyone.
Pastor Chanc Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN
This blog post was adapted from a sermon preached at Harpeth Baptist Church in the summer of 2012.