So, do you ever wonder how God treats us when we have a lack of faith? Last time we talked, we were discovering that Elijah, even after the huge and dramatic evidence he had of God’s working in his life, forgot all of it in just one moment of weakness. Seems foolish. Seems human, actually! Seems just like what we do!
Okay, let’s catch up with Elijah. After hearing that the queen had sworn to kill him by the next day, he ran about a hundred miles to Beersheba, the very southern edge of the country! Then he traveled another day’s journey into the desert-
He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. 1 Kings 19
Wow, what a loser! I’ll bet God was ready to give him an earful!
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
Wait a minute! Gentle treatment and a fresh, hot meal? Okay, fattening him up for the kill, right?
The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”
Okay, another hot meal and some sympathy! Strange punishment, wouldn’t you say? “You may be running”, God says, “but I’ll still care for you.”
Then Elijah gets up and travels forty days and nights and crawls into a cave up on the side of Mount Horeb, way down close to the Red Sea, where the Ten Commandments were given. Where Moses said to God,”Let me see what you look like”.
The next morning, God says to Elijah, “What are you doing way down here?”
Elijah replies,”Look, I’ve worked for You, I’m the only one left that follows You, and they’re trying to kill me too!”
So God redirects his attention by saying,”I’m about to walk by your little cave, so get out here and see something!”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.
Elijah, scared to death, crawled back into the cave! Finally he heard a quiet whisper and recognized the voice of God. He pulled his coat over his head and came out of the cave. “Why are you here?” God said again.
Elijah replies, “Look, I’ve worked for you, …..”
“Enough of that already!” God says. “I’ve got big plans for you. Get back to work! Oh, by the way, I know of 7000 other guys who are still with me. You are not alone!”
No condemnation. Only loving support. No rejection. Only acceptance. No denial. Only re-affirmation.
“Yes, I can do big things,” God says,”but I want you to look at Me, not the fire, not the earthquake, not the wind. Know Me! Love Me! I will power you up to keep you working for Me, even when scary things happen. Look at Me! I will give you what you need to trust Me.
Father, keep my eyes on You so that you can gift me with the strength and faith to stand, even when I feel like falling. Thank You for never letting me go, even when I look away from You and fail.
Read the whole story including these quotes in 1 Kings 17-19.