Elijah’s strength and faith collapse

Last updated on July 14, 2021


“Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die.” (1 Kings 19:3-4)

As soon as Queen Jezebel hears what has happened to her Baal prophets, she sends a threatening message to Elijah. She is determined to kill him! When Elijah hears this, he collapses. He flees 200 kilometers south and a day’s journey into the desert, he despairs and asks God to let him die. This prophet, who stood up in front of the king and the whole people against 850 idol priests, now hides under a broom tree, frightened and hopeless.
There is more going on here than mental exhaustion after an impressive event. Elijah forgets to trust in God. He looks at human circumstances and threats, not at his almighty Lord.
The same thing happens to the apostle Peter centuries later. At Jesus’ invitation, he walks on water, but as soon as he looks at the wind and waves around him, he begins to sink. He needs Jesus to grab him by the hand and take him to the boat.
Elijah is on the wrong track here. He has lost his way spiritually. He fled for his life, but now he only wants to give up and die.
Do you ever find yourself completely down in the dumps? What do you do then?

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