Daily Readings & Thought for August 24th. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE …”
Elijah showed he was a man of great faith when he challenged the wicked king Ahab on Mount Carmel, fire miraculously burnt up his offering and 450 prophets of Baal were killed. Then three and a half years of drought came dramatically to an end! But after that he had a remarkable collapse of faith. Could it be that, after the remarkable climax of events on Mt Carmel, he thought everything was going to be easier now and his intensity of faith in God while on the mount relaxed? But it was not going to be easier, in today’s chapter (I Kings 19), when Jezebel declares her intention to kill him because he had caused the death of her 450 prophets, Elijah’s confidence in serving the LORD suddenly collapses and he runs for his life. Is this a lesson for us, to a much lesser degree of course?
He says to God, “It is enough now O LORD, take away my life for I am no better than my fathers.” [v.14] But the end result is that he finds God in a more personal way than ever before. First, food is miraculously provided for him and after 40 days (interesting that is the same period that Moses spent on the mountain with God) Elijah comes to “Horeb, the mount of God.” [v.8] where Moses had received the law.
He lodges in a cave [v.9,13] he hears a voice, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” and he experiences the awesome power of God. He thinks he is the only faithful person left in Israel and is told there are 7,000 in Israel who have not bowed the knee to worship Baal (v.18). As he hides in the cave there is a strong wind, strong enough to break the rocks, then an earthquake and then a fire! Awesome, it is rather parallel to God’s judgements on the world at the end of this age when Jesus is about to come. And how soon is that? Very soon? We must each ask ourselves, ‘What am I doing here? Surely there is still some work to be done for the Lord.