When Elijah was in his spiritual depression, God demonstrated His gracious presence in order to restore His servant from the stage of distress, disappointment, self-pity, bitterness, fright and encavement. God patiently restored His run-away servant so that Elijah could continue his ministry in the age of apostasy.
In the generation of apostasy, the Israelites did not move even though they saw the divine fire from heaven, nor did they return to God by receiving His gracious rain. They were not touched by the zeal of Elijah. Full of disappointment, the distressed prophet escaped from Jezebel, yet he ran ahead of God¡¦s will. When he was exhausted, God showed mercy to him by sending an angel to serve his physical needs. The angel served him twice by heavenly meals with cake, baked on coal and water. God let Elijah rest and eat until he restored his energy and ran again. This was actually like the picture by the Sea of Tiberias where the disoriented and guilt-haunted disciples ran out to fish and got nothing. The risen Christ Jesus came to them and prepared breakfast for the exhausted disciples. Jesus did not rebuke them for their disobedience. He warmly treated them with fish and bread. These angelic meals provided a great energy source for Elijah. He went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights, to as far as Horeb. God, our daily Provider, knows our needs and us. He provides sufficient grace and supplies according to our needs. He knows both our physical and spiritual weakness. ¡¥He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.¡¦ (Isaiah 40:29) And God says: ¡¥For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.¡¦ (Jeremiah 31:25)
God demonstrated His love to the rebellious Israelites. He showed patience and mercy to a servant who departed from his ministry. God asked the same question twice: ¡¥what are you doing here, Elijah?¡¦ (1 Kings 19:9,13) God asked His servant this self-probing question in order to appeal to his conscience. God called for self-examination. It was a call for reflection and self-understanding. There is a ¡¥why¡¦ needed to be addressed behind the ¡¥what¡¦. Elijah must wake up and walk out from his cave of self-pity and bitterness. God called Elijah for a self-examination and self-understanding. It is a turning point for our spiritual depression. We need to examine ourselves until we realize the cause and source of our problems. Like the prodigal son self-examined his way and finally decided to return home. Jonah self-examined his deeds and offered a prayer of repentance in the belly of a big fish. Haggai, the prophet, summoned the returned Jews ¡¥to consider your ways.¡¦ (Haggai 1:5,7) Jesus warned the church of Ephesians, saying: ¡¥remember therefore from where you have fallen, repent and do the first works.¡¦ (Revelations 2:5) Dear brothers and sisters, if you are in a spiritual depression, please reconsider and self-examine your ways from the point when you have begun to lose the grace of God. Return to God, and His divine healing will immediately come upon you.
On the day when God proclaimed the laws to the people of Israel in Mount Sinai, God came with great glory and might. All the people, including Moses, trembled in front of His mighty presence. The Israelites were so afraid and told Moses that: ¡¥you speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.¡¦ (Exodus 20:19) During the second time when God¡¦s glorious presence descended on the mountain, a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks into pieces, as He passed by. There were earthquakes and fire, yet God was not in them. God spoke to Elijah in a small still voice. It indicates the compassion and love of God to His fainted servant. God did not respond to the questions raised by Elijah, nor did God answer his request by taking his life. Full of mercy, God came to comfort and restore him. My dear brothers and sisters, God understands our trouble and distress. He reminds us: ¡¥as one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.¡¦ (Isaiah 66:13)
¡¥For I am the Lord who heals you.¡¦ (Exodus 15:26)
By: Daniel To