Elijah is indignant and short-sighted

Last updated on July 28, 2021


“‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He said, ‘I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.’” (1 Kings 19:13-14)

When the prophet Elijah reached Mount Horeb, the Lord asks him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Immediately Elijah lists a huge number of problems and disappointments: he has served God the best he can, but the people have turned away from Him, destroyed His altars and killed his prophets. He even says that he is the only one left, and queen Jezebel is seeking his life.

Elijah is partly right, although there are 7000 people left who have not served Baal, and the following chapter also mentions another prophet who addresses king Ahab in God’s name. So, Elijah’s complaint is a little exaggerated. Moreover, he seems to have completely forgotten God’s miraculous intervention and the people’s confession that the Lord is the only true God after all!

Elijah only sees the negative side of the whole story, not the good things the Lord has done.
God does not deny Elijah’s claims, but reveals Himself in a quiet, gentle voice. Then He repeats his question — and Elijah gives exactly the same answer. He seems unable or unwilling to change his mind or to widen his perspective. He remains indignant and short-sighted.
Are you like Elijah, only seeing the negative side of life? Or are you more positive?

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