After the showdown and his victory on Mount Carmel, the prophet Elijah fled for his life after receiving a threat from Jezebel, vowing, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” Her husband, king Ahab had told her that Elijah had executed all the prophets of Baal with the sword.
Elijah went into the wilderness and sat under a broom tree. He prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
Then, as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again.
And the angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”
So, he arose and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb the mountain of God (1 Kings 19:2-8).
Now, what happened to Elijah? After his mountaintop experience, why did he run away because of Jezebel’s threat on his life? He explained why when after leaving Horeb, God revealed Himself to him and asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Elijah told Him, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” Elijah fled because he feared that he would end up dead like the other prophets.
Did Elijah have good reason to fear for his life? Sometimes, when we are faced with a crisis, we feel alone. Our faith wavers and we are overwhelmed. Instead of running to God, we run away. Fear, doubt assail us and choke out our faith.
God reveals Himself to us and reminds us that we’re not alone. He’s with us. When Elijah was in the wilderness, God sent the angel to take care of him. Elijah, in the depths of despair wanted to die but the angel showed up to strengthen and sustain him. God wasn’t finished with the prophet. He had more work for him to do. Sometimes, we want to throw in the towel and simply give up but God has plans for us which He intends to fulfill.
Elijah gave Jezebel more power than she really had. God was greater than her. He is mightier than anything and anyone. When discouraged, turn to Him. Don’t run from your troubles, face them with God.
What if instead of running away, Elijah had prayed a prayer like this, “Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; In You I take shelter” (Psalm 143:9). When faced with troubles, don’t panic, pray!