“So he got up, ate and drank, and the food gave Elijah enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave where he spent the night.”
The kindness of God is revealed in this verse, as He energises Elijah enough to get him away from the combat zone.
Once the threat of Jezebel is forty days behind Elijah, the Lord addresses the ‘elephant in the room.’
‘What are you doing here Elijah?’ (verse 9)
Here, God does not berate his servant, but opens a conversation where Elijah can express his inner man. It’s a question that gently reminds Elijah, that the cave isn’t where he should be given the Lord’s faithfulness to protect him, or where he needs to be given the spiritual mess of the nation.
In verse 10 Elijah replies with an honest account of his heart and mind.
It reminds me that our transparency is essential for the Lord to minister to us. We can pour ourselves out in the presence of God and KNOW that our vulnerability will be met with mercy.
Our hearts are already known to God, so why put energy into hiding, pretending or watering down our needs?
In allowing ourselves to be broken before God, we invite him into our journey and begin to usher hope.
Elijah replied, ‘I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have: broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, killed every one of your prophets, and I am the only one left and now they are trying to kill me too”
Elijah articulates four issues, but I believe the key is in the BUT. He served God faithfully with every scrap of courage BUT there was no fruit. Worse than that, there was spiritual decay throughout Israel.
I wonder what questions Elijah asked himself on that 40 day journey.
Have I failed? Will there ever be justice? Does God have a plan B?
The ministry outcomes had been horrendous, leaving Elijah feeling defeated and disempowered.
Disempowerment is the perfect murder weapon, because it robs us of future hope. And in this, Jezebel had temporarily won. She had killed Elijah’s hope.
Life and ministry contains ‘buts’... those seasons where outcomes don’t reflect the sacrifices made. And they hurt because they leave questions like scars on our faith.
But the Lord draws near to us when we draw near to Him... and once drawn he will minister to our battle scars and restore our hopes in Him.