When Elijah was in his spiritual depression, he escaped, desired to die under a broom tree, and encaved himself in bitterness. He has been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts. But when things turned up not as he expected, he disappointed, withdrew and appealed to God against Israel. But, God patiently restored His servant. God provided him food and allowed him sufficient rest so that he could reflect his own ways. God also made a special trip on the mountain to encourage Elijah so that he could finish his race well.
¡¥Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD."¡¦ (1 Kings 19:11) The way God healed Elijah was to ask him to depart from his dark cave, stand on the mountain before Him. Due to the mighty glory of God, there were tremendous impacts on earth. There were great and strong wind to tear into the mountains breaking the rocks into pieces. There were earthquake and fire as God passed by. Elijah was afraid to come out from the cave. The corruptible human body simply could not face the glorious presence of God. After all these signs, God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. He came out from his cave and stood in the entrance of the cave. He wrapped his face in his mantle because he was afraid to see God. Although the Scripture does not tell us how Elijah felt about himself when he met God, his body language tells us that he was in great fear. If God doesn¡¦t restrain His mighty glory, there won¡¦t be possible for a man to access and draw near to Him. But, God is meekly whispering to us: ¡¥Come to the Light.¡¦ John exhorts us: ¡¥This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.¡¦ (1 John 1:5-6) If you want to come out of your spiritual depression, you must have a determination to depart from your darkness and come to His healing light ¡V that is to our Lord Jesus Christ.
¡¥Then the Lord said to him: Go, return on your way ¡K¡¦ (1 Kings 19:15) When Moses met God on the mountain (Mount Horeb), God sent him to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt and to the land that God had promised to Abraham in His covenant. On the same mountain, facing the rebellious reality, God was not provoked by the appeal of Elijah against Israel. He kept His covenant and demonstrated His mercy and long-suffering to the chosen people. God told Elijah to return and complete his assignments. God showed His longsuffering toward both Israel and Elijah. Facing the distress and loneliness in our service, James reminds us: ¡¥Let patience have its perfect work.¡¦ Paul encourages us: ¡¥if we endure, we will reign with Him.¡¦ The author of Hebrews also exhorts us: ¡¥For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.¡¦ (Hebrews 10:36) And Jesus encourages us: ¡¥And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
God told Elijah to anoint Hazael, Jehu and Elisha to perform their roles. (1 Kings 19:15-16) This indicates God may use different peoples to fulfill His will. Elijah is just one of many vessels of the Lord. In the final words of this divine encounter, God told Elijah: ¡¥Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."¡¦ (1 Kings 19:18) It reveals to us that in the age of extreme apostasy, God in His sovereign will, preserved certain faithful remnants as His witnesses. ¡¥There is a remnant according to the election of grace.¡¦ (Romans 11:8) Though these people did not show up in the Mount of Carmel, standing together with Elijah to fight against the prophets of Baal, they separated themselves and patiently waiting on God. The sense of loneliness in ministry may turn to narcissism. Self-pity may become a harsh criticism. Elijah was embittered by this sense of loneliness and self-pity due to service failure. He groaned and complained. God told Elijah about this secret preservation in order to encourage and restore His servant from his pit of self-pity and failure. In the sovereign grace, there were still many faithful servants bearing witness for God.
By: Daniel To