Applications from 1 Kings
If you read the last post, You can’t please everybody, please skip ahead to the application.
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.
Some would say Elijah is suicidal here. I disagree, but if so it makes my point just the same. Suicidal or not, Elijah was worn and needed to recuperate.
Why I think he was not suicidal:
- First, the hebrew word for “life” here means soul. Thus, he was fleeing for his sanity more than his pulse.
- Second, he doesn’t try to take things into his own hands, rather he still observes God’s power of giving/taking life. John Gray says, “He did not contemplate suicide, for he believed God was the Lord of life. Though a man might wish to die, he was not at liberty to take his life. Only God had the right to do that.”
So, I don’t think he is suicidal, rather I believe Elijah is just worn out (physically, emotionally, and spiritually). So he gets away by himself to be revived. He pours out his troubles, recommits to God, and rests while waiting to see what God will do.
Being used spiritually took a physical toll on Elijah. The great man that he was…he was still just a man. Be aware that being used of God wears us down. We must allow time for our body, soul, & spirit to recover.
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.