God’s final response to Elijah’s crisis is a list of tasks taking him to the wilderness of Damascus, before a retirement plan kicks in.
So going back the way he came, Elijah trusted the Lord that no one had followed him with ill intent. Each step over old ground was now filled with new purpose. This mission had every ingredient to lift, encourage and distract Elijah from the distress that brought him there.
Each of Elijah’s complaints were addressed from verse 15.
1. The corrupt government of Ahab would be destroyed, from every possible angle. A bloody judgement executed by the new kings of Assyria and Israel would bring an end to the apostasy that offended and hurt Elijah so deeply. 2. Anyone who escapes the first and second waves of terror will meet with Elisha, who will clean the dregs off the landscape. 3. A tired prophet needs a friend as well as a successor. By bringing Elisha alongside Elijah for the closing season of his ministry, Elijah’s hope and aloneness would be lifted. What a gracious and beautiful plan from the Lord. 4. Elijah may have thought he was alone in faith and faithfulness, but the Lord revealed what human eyes can’t see... that 7000 souls in Israel had never bowed down to Baal. What a great assurance to Elijah that his work as a prophet had produced fruit!
Before his impressive demonstration on Mount Carmel, many people were actually in spiritual partnership with Elijah, but in depression he was blind. The Lord had retained a remnant for himself in the quiet and hidden places. A secret treasure that Elijah could appreciate.
Sometimes the Lords hand of victory is closer than we think, feel or see. His faithfulness is always beyond our faith.... and grace is larger than the obstacles of ministry and life.
I can image the chains of discouragement falling off Elijah at the sound of those words, ‘Yet I have preserved 7000 others.’
I have loved exploring 1 Kings 19 and sharing it with you this month. I pray the truths here, of God’s gracious and wise heart will bring personal triumph to you. Aliki