Elijah is one of my favorite prophets. (And David’s too since we named our first son after him.) He was one of the mightiest, yet one of the most real. I see him as David was as a King, Elijah was as a prophet.
In I Kings 19:1-6 we see the fully human side of Elijah at a time of great fear and despair; when Elijah was going through a crisis. Jezebel had stated she was going to hunt him down and kill him for slaying all of her prophets of Baal, and he fled.
Then Jezebel send a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not you life as the life of one of them by to-morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, 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 juniper-tree: and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is enough; now, O Jehovah, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
Ever want to curl up and die? Uh hum, yeah right. Very few Christians are honest enough to admit that they have; admission to wanting to die is such a lack of faith? I admit it – freely. I have been in the pits of despair and wanted nothing more than to be at peace with Jesus. When questioned, and honest about it, up to 75% of people will admit suicidal ideations at one point or another in their life. That is the thought, not the plan, or the action. Just the thought.
So here is the great, (and he was great) prophet of God, who had just called down FIRE from heaven and burned up a saturated pile of wood in a water filled trench (read I Kings 18) and then slew 450 prophets of Baal, fleeing for his life from the threat of a women! Not only that, he fell into such depression over it that he sat down under a tree and asked to die. Powerful emotions.
What happens next is what I want to point out now –
And he lay down and slept under a juniper-tree; and, behold, an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
And he looked, and, behold, there was at his head a cake baking on the coals, and a jug of water. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. Still feeling the fatigue of hopelessness and despair.
God sent Elijah an angel to minister to him; to take care of his most basic essential need for food and water, and touch. No words were spoken – just the meeting of his most essential needs. The angel did not need to touch him; he could have simply spoken his name to wake him, but he touched him. Touch brings forth a reassurance that you are not alone; that someone else cares about you.
And the angel of Jehovah came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
And he came to a cave, and lodged there;
Obviously it was a supernatural encounter, just like the calling down fire from heaven that enabled Elijah to travel for 40 days on his few meals.
Love, true agape love is a supernatural act.
Compassion and care towards another individual, or group of individuals that meets their basic needs, is the first stage of love. (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, just charts some of what the bible taught thousands of years before) It is not possible to give people instructions as to where they should go, or what they should do, or who they can turn to, if they too are cold, tired, hungry, or in need of love to focus on the message.
God knows this and instructed his angel, “the journey is too great for you.”
Ponder that till tomorrow.