In the nineteenth chapter of the book of 1 Kings, we find the worn and weary prophet Elijah fleeing into the wilderness to escape the wrath of Jezebel. Elijah left his servant in Judah and went another day’s journey farther before he gave up. He sat down and prayed to die.
After being encouraged and strengthened through rest, bread, and water provided by the angel of YHWH, Elijah still felt lost and alone. He continued to struggle. Even in the darkness of his despair, he knew the only place he could go. After forty more days’ journey, He reached the mountain of YHWH.
Hunkered down in a cave there, He heard the voice of his Father. “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” YHWH responded by telling Elijah to come out of his hiding place and stand on the mountain. YHWH was going to meet with Elijah.
As Elijah sat cloaked in the shadows of the inward parts of the mountain, YHWH sent a powerful wind that tore the mountain apart and shattered its rocky crags, followed by an earthquake and a fire! The text states that YHWH was not in any of these fearsome acts of His Creation. Rather, He was in the gentle whisper that followed all these things. Again, YHWH repeated the question to the prophet: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” In turn, Elijah repeated his answer and spoke of his faithfulness to the Father, his fears, and how utterly alone he felt.
The prophet knew better than anyone that the arm of Israel’s true King was not too short to save. The news barely had time to spread about the mockery Elijah made of the four hundred fifty slain prophets of Baal. YHWH didn’t answer Elijah with pity about the hardships that had befallen him. YHWH gave him marching orders. The Father had a plan for Israel’s victory over her enemies and a helper for Elijah. Elijah had been convinced that he was the only one left who would take up the fight for the kingdom’s cause. YHWH revealed to him that He had reserved for Himself seven thousand men whose hearts were with the Father and who had not bowed their knee to worship false gods.
Can you relate to Elijah? We can get scared, discouraged, and so heavily pressed on every side that the only thing we know to do is run to the Father. This is always the right choice. Often, as we make the tiresome journey through our troubles to the feet of the Father, we busy our minds with all kinds of thoughts. We meditate on the size of the problems in front of us and the power of our enemies. Sometimes, we give in to self-pity, wondering why we suffer like we do even when we are faithful to YHWH. When we fall exhausted at the Father’s feet in desperation, the first thing He does is remind us of His power and how faithful He has been to us.
Perhaps the Father is calling you to the mountain today. Maybe you’ve been sulking in the shadows of a dark season. He’s ready to remind you Who He is today. He has enough power in His mighty right hand to shake the foundations of the earth and a voice so loving and tender that it can soothe the most fragile of bruised hearts.
It’s crucial that we be reminded of Who keeps the storehouses of rain, routes the lightning in the sky, and causes the earth to tremble at His Presence. The Father didn’t ask Elijah twice why he had come because He didn’t know. YHWH was giving Elijah an opportunity to voice his fears and concerns so He could remind him how much bigger than all those things He was. Only after the prophet had expressed these things could the Father frame their smallness in comparison to the immensity of His power and glory so effectively. Before speaking one word, the Creator shook His Creation beneath Elijah’s feet mightily. He knows how to get our attention back where it belongs—on Him!
Come out of the darkness, friend. Gather up your worries and woes and head on out to meet Him on the mountain. Let Him remind you Who He is today. It’s His mountain, His plan, and His breath within our lungs. He already knows what’s pressing on us, and He’s already settled it. We might as well go on and get our marching orders. Through them, He’s going to get His glory and show us He’s always had our good in mind!Print This Post