As a child and young person I was inclined to see the ‘good’ Bible characters, those who were people after God’s own heart, as being almost perfect: they always trusted God; they never got discouraged; they always lived on a spiritual and emotional high. But by the time I was an adult, I began to see them as human beings, created in the image of God, but not perfect, just like me. They had their downfalls. I could identify with them and their journey with God. What was true of them could be true of me. I could be a person of faith, of courage, even though I had my foibles and difficulties.
Oh how I love that Elijah was a human, just like me (James 5:17a). Like me, he was created in the image of God, but had some very black moments. He felt alone. He wanted to die. 1 Kings 19:3 tells us he was afraid and ran for his life. But he was ultimately ministered to and directed by the angel of the Lord. He loved the Lord with all his heart and wanted to obey him…and God helped him through his dark moments. God gave him an appropriate kick in the pants and sent him on his way.
Read his whole story in 1 Kings 17-19 and 2 Kings 1-2.
In Psalms 42 and 43, the phrase “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” is quoted three times. And so isthe response. “I WILL put my hope in God! I WILL praise him again—my Saviour and my God.”
You can never get so low that God isn’t there. God never left Elijah…Elijah just felt that he had. But Elijah continued living for God until the estimated age of 51 years when God, in essence, sent a chariot of fire to take him to heaven. Perhaps it was an Old Testament way of saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
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