1 Kings 19:7 And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.1 Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Elijah, the great prophet of God, who single-handedly stood down the 450 prophets of Baal and prayed down fire from God out of heaven, was afraid. Jezebel, no doubt, exercised great power and had the resources to back up her threat, but still, it is shocking that he runs so far and so fast after such a great victory. It shows us how vulnerable we are after great victories and that any strength to stand strong is not our strength but God’s strength. The minute we start looking to ourselves we are open to defeat and discouragement.
The grace of God to encourage and teach Elijah is wonderful in this passage. After he has run as far as he can and just wants to die, feeling like a total failure, God gives him rest and sends an angel to provide refreshments for him. Then he travels forty days and nights on the food God provides and comes to Mount Horeb, where God gave the law to Moses.
Several powerful demonstrations of power occur – a strong wind that breaks rocks, an earthquake, and a fire. But God is not in these things like He was when He spoke to Moses. Then a “still small voice” (a whisper) speaks to Elijah and he knows it is the Lord. The Lord questions him, corrects his lack of understanding about his situation, and gives him a new mission and a new companion.
What I take away from this is that: 1) the journey to too great for all of us – even Elijah got overwhelmed, 2) God’s grace is sufficient – no matter how discouraged, He can help us, and 3) what we need to go on is not some great demonstration of power but the still small voice of God speaking to us, giving us truth, and encouraging us.
Do you feel overwhelmed? Join the club. That is just part of serving God. Do you lack the strength to go on? Sure you do and we always will. But God can give us the strength we do not have. Listen to His voice. Listen to His Word. Listen to His truth, and know that He still has the power, a purpose, and a plan for you.