"O LORD, TAKE MY LIFE...."
SERIES: ELIJAH: GOD'S INSTRUMENT OF GRACE
by Ron Ritchie
Have you ever had a time when the circumstances of this life felt so overwhelming
that you completely lost sight of the Lord Jesus? To lose sight of the Lord
allows circumstances to blind us to the reality that he has promised us
that he will never leave us and that he will give us an abundant life, which
in turn directly affects our sense of our worth in God's sight. We begin
to stumble down a series of steps: disappointment, fear, self-pity, isolation,
inability to eat or sleep, and finally a cry to God, "Lord, take my
life," before we fall asleep in sheer exhaustion. This is what we now
call a state of depression. (I am not speaking of the kind of depression
caused by some chemical imbalance in our bodies.)
If you have ever felt that way, you are among some of God's wonderful saints
whom he allowed to come to that place of depression so that he could show
them in time their sin of self-reliance, then graciously draw them back
into a loving relationship with him.
Who are some of these saints? Job cried out in the midst of his confusion
and self-righteousness (Job 10:18-22):
"Why then hast Thou brought me out of the womb?
Some one hundred years later (seventh century BC), Jonah took a page out
of Elijah's life, which we are about to see. After the city of Nineveh repented
as a result of the message he preached, Jonah became depressed and dehydrated
by a scorching east wind that was sent by the Lord. In this fainting condition
he begged God with all his soul to let him die, saying, "Death is better
to me than life" (Jonah 4:8). And here in 1 Kings 19 we will hear our
dear prophet Elijah call out to God in a moment of deep depression, "...O
LORD, take my life...."
Would that I had died and no eye had seen me!
I should have been as though I had not been,
Carried from womb to tomb."
As we open the Scriptures to 1 Kings 19:1-21, we will discover from Elijah's
experience some of the steps that could lead us into deep spiritual and
emotional depression. We will also discover that behind that depressive
state stands a loving and gracious God who is willing to bring healing when
we choose to trust him for our lives again regardless of trying circumstances.
One of the first steps that takes us down the road to depression is forgetting
the presence of the living God in the midst of our trials, temptations,
and daily stresses of life.
Elijah forgot God's presence
1 Kings 19:1-8
Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all
the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying,
"So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life
as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time." And he was
afraid and 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 juniper tree; and he
requested for himself that he might die, and said, "It is enough; now,
O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers." And he
lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel
touching him, and he said to him, "Arise, eat." Then he looked
and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and
a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of
the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, "Arise,
eat, because the journey is too great for you." So he arose and ate
and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights
to Horeb, the mountain of God.
To review for a moment, in the words of James (5:17), "[Elijah] prayed
earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three
years and six months." Then God sent him to appear before King Ahab,
and a contest was set up between the living God of Israel and Baal on Mount
Carmel. The true God would be the one who consumed the bull sacrifice with
fire. The living God of Israel answered with fire, causing many in Israel
to declare their faith in the God of Israel alone. Then in accordance with
God's holy war against the Canaanites, Elijah and the godly Jews put the
850 false prophets to death (see Deuteronomy 13:1-5).
Then Elijah returned to the top of Mount Carmel and prayed again to the
living and gracious God Jehovah, "and the sky poured rain, and the
earth produced its fruit" (James 5:18). Ahab and Elijah returned to
the palace in Jezreel. Ahab drove his chariot, but Elijah, empowered by
the Spirit, outran the king to the city gates. Reading of that last week,
we could sense his joy at the possibility of the kingdom's being reunited
and Jerusalem's once again becoming the religious and political center of
the nation as in the days of David and Solomon. I'm sure he was also hoping
that the Lord would enable him to put the final nail in Baal's coffin with
the elimination of Jezebel. He may even have had dreams of being placed
in King Ahab's palace as the "prophet in residence." But as the
Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote:
And the Lord's word in Proverbs 16:9 says:
"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley."
"The mind of man plans his way,
Now the scene opens as Ahab arrives home at his summer palace in Jezreel.
With a heart filled with the amazing presence of Jehovah on Mount Carmel
and the joy of the rain falling on his kingdom once again, he called for
Queen Jezebel to share the adventures he had experienced with Elijah. However,
the story about the power of the living God, the fire from heaven, and the
thunder and rain that came after Elijah prayed got drowned out when the
king got around to mentioning the elimination of all Jezebel's prophets
by the hand of the prophet of God. At that point all the wrath of hell poured
out of her mouth in the spirit of the Canaanite goddesses she worshiped,
who were, according to Canaanite literature, the most vicious and violent
figures imaginable. Jezebel, a Canaanite and a Phoenician, reflected much
of their cruel and vicious character in her own. And she immediately planned
the death of one more prophet.
But the LORD directs his steps."
Meanwhile King Ahab stood by passively (like King Adam) and let his queen
take matters into her own hands. She proceeded to put a contract out on
the life of Elijah. Elijah received a message from her that read, "To
Elijah, troubler of Israel: So may the gods do to me and even more, if I
do not make your life as the life of one of my dead prophets by tomorrow
about this time. Signed, Queen Jezebel." Jezebel was not only vicious
but clever. She could have ordered Elijah killed immediately, but then without
her own prophets to protect her, she might have lost her life at the hands
of the new Jewish converts. But if she threatened to kill him within twenty-four
hours, Elijah might slip into a posture of self-defensive and flee, the
new converts might be spiritually demoralized without their leader, and
Jehovah might be discredited. And it worked!
"And he was afraid...." The Hebrew could be translated "he
saw." That is, he saw Jezebel rather than remembering that the Lord
was working behind the scenes. And so he became afraid. Keep in mind that
as James has reminded us (5:17), "Elijah was a man with a nature like
ours...." He had times of great courage, mercy, and strength, all provided
by the Lord; and then he had times when his flesh overwhelmed him, and this
was one of the latter.
Elijah had just had one of the most wonderful experiences of his life before
the Lord, his enemies, and the Jewish nation. God was still among his people,
and his people after years of idolatry had become willing once again to
acknowledge him as their only God and to seek to fulfill the commandment
of Deuteronomy 6: "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is
one! And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all
your soul and with all your might." But then in fear Elijah took Jezebel's
threat to his life personally and forgot the presence and power of God.
This threat also flushed out several of Elijah's spiritual problems. As
we shall see in a moment, he had what I call the "I and My" Syndrome.
"I have been very zealous for the LORD..." he said, "And
I alone am left...they seek my life...." In the midst
of the contest on Mount Carmel he had begun to get the sense that he himself
had a lot to do with the victory over Baalism. And he was hoping that now
King Ahab was going to stand up for him when Queen Jezebel threatened him,
but it did not happen. So Elijah's fleshly pride was shattered.
The road to depression was gradually paved with (1) a great moment of glory
and victory over the enemies of God; (2) lack of food, water, and sleep
combined with exhaustion from his seventeen-mile run; (3) Jezebel's death
threat and the lack of support from King Ahab; resulting in (4) disappointment
in God, fear for his life, and a hundred-mile escape on foot into the desert;
filling his heart with (5) self-pity. Leaving his servant he then (6) became
isolated; causing him to cry out to God in (7) total despair as he (8) compared
his life against his fathers': "It is enough; now, O LORD, take my
life, for I am not better than my fathers." He felt like a complete
failure as he fell asleep.
Then at the right time God sent an angel to tell him to arise and eat. As
the Lord had provided the brook and the ravens to feed him morning and night
in the desert as well as the Gentile widow to feed him during the drought,
now the Lord provided the angel. When Elijah looked he saw some freshly
baked bread and a jar of water. It seemed that God was not going to take
his life has he had requested, but that he was perhaps going to be fed and
put back on his feet eventually. He ate and fell asleep again, then was
awakened a second time and given another meal. At this second meal the angel
told him that he must eat that meal because God was going to direct his
steps into the wilderness. He arose and drank and found himself walking
into the Sinai wilderness for forty days and nights, covering some two hundred
miles, until he arrived at Mount Sinai, the place where Moses had met God.
This "angel of the Lord" is the same preincarnate Christ Jesus
who appeared to Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, and David, and later to Elisha
and other future prophets. He usually appears on behalf of his people at
a turning point in their history. The "angel of the Lord" is the
guardian angel of the chosen race. This is seen in Isaiah 63:8-9:
"For He said, 'Surely they are My people...'
In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the angel of His presence saved them;
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them;
And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old."
When Moses had met God on Mount Sinai, God had just judged his people for
worshiping the golden calf. Moses then appeared before God with a burning
concern for the welfare of his people and asked God if he could see God's
glory as a sign that God would not forsake them and as a sign that he would
be strengthened by God for the ministry ahead: "'...If I have found
favor in Thy sight, let me know Thy ways, that I may know Thee...show me
Thy glory! And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before
you...You cannot see My face, for no man can see me and live!...Behold,
there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will
come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft
of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will
take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen."
(Exodus 33:13-23). And as God passed by, Moses learned of his grace, mercy,
and lovingkindness. Elijah, on the other hand, in deep depression, needed
a renewed view of God, because the prophet's zeal was not in harmony with
the love, grace, and long-suffering of God for his people. But it is fascinating
to me that in the ministry of Jesus we will find Jesus himself, Moses, and
Elijah together on the mount of transfiguration [see Luke 9:28f].) Moses
represented the law, Elijah the prophets, and Jesus the fulfillment of both.
The number forty in the Scriptures is associated with testing as well as
preparation for ministry. Within this wilderness experience we find the
saints of God entering into a personal dialogue with their Creator; fasting;
and being tested, purified, and prepared to face a new ministry in the strength
of the Lord. Twice Moses had spent forty days and nights with the Lord on
Mount Sinai followed by forty years in the wilderness with the people of
God. This all foreshadowed our Lord's forty days and nights on the mountain
of temptation before he began his public ministry. As Moses and the Lord
Jesus himself went to the mountain to sit in the presence of the one and
only living God to be challenged and led into their future ministries, so
Elijah now arrived at the place where he would be spiritually challenged
to discover once again the character of God and to get his life lined up
with the will of God.
In the last two weeks I have received calls or personal visits from three
young pastors of churches outside the area. Each one has been tempted to
start down the road of depression because of threats to their personal walk
with the Lord or to their preaching or teaching ministry, or because of
allegations of their insensitivity to many of the people in their churches.
One of these men in the wisdom of the Lord called and told me that he was
convinced that God had called him to his current ministry. He took four
days off and went to a retreat center outside his home town. There he sat
before the Lord Jesus, opened up his heart, and prayed that the Lord would
show him his sins and weaknesses as well as his confirm his spiritual gifts.
He then prayed that the Lord would give him the courage and humility to
return home and continue to be a faithful shepherd to God's people in a
growing ministry. What an encouragement he was to my own heart! Discouragement
or depression is a part of life that God allows to come in order to cleanse
us. All three of these men had some things to work out before the Lord---just
as Moses, Elijah, Job, and Jonah did---which were destroying their relationship
with the Lord.
Not only did Elijah forget the presence of God in the face of Jezebel's
Elijah forgot the character of God
1 Kings 19:9-14
Then he came there to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of
the LORD came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here,
Elijah?" And he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD,
the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, torn
down Thine altars and killed Thy prophets with the sword. And I alone am
left; and they seek my life, to take it away." So He said, "Go
forth, and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the
LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains
and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in
the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the
earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the
fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. And it came about
when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out
and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and
said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" Then he said, "I
have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel
have forsaken Thy covenant, torn down Thine altars and killed Thy prophets
with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."
Having been led by the Spirit of God through the wilderness, Elijah finally
arrived in the area of Mount Sinai where the foundation of Israel's relationship
with the one and only living God had been formed. There he found a cave
in which he hid and rested. In Hebrew this is literally "the cave,"
that is, the one where Moses some five hundred years earlier had had the
personal encounter with God on Mount Sinai that I just mentioned (see Exodus
33:21f). But Elijah was still battling emotional and spiritual depression.
So as with Moses, the Lord God again spoke face-to-face with his prophet.
He began by asking him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" The
Lord God had drawn his prophet to "the cave" in order for him
to think about his relationship with Yahweh, himself, and his ministry
to a corrupt Israel. He was called to be the instrument of God's truth and
grace to an idolatrous generation, yet here he was in a cave some three
hundred miles away hiding from Queen Jezebel. The question was not "What
are you doing here in this cave?" but "What are you doing in this
depressed state?" God was saying, "Elijah, I thought you told
everyone that you were the servant of the living God. Did I die?" Depression
leaves one with the sense, "God has died and only I am left, and I
would like to die too."
Elijah answered God, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God
of hosts...." This sounds like the voice of pride: "Look at me
and who I am...and in contrast to me look at the sons of Israel and what
they have done: (a) They have forsaken your covenant. (b) Under the royal
encouragement of King Ahab and that wicked Queen Jezebel they have torn
down your altars. (c) They have killed your prophets with the sword. And
I alone am left...." And here is the voice of self-pity that clouds
the mind to reality: "All is lost. No one repented, Jezebel reigns,
Ahab is a wimp, and I alone am left. And they seek my life, to take it away."
And finally this is the voice of fear and despair. He forgot that the Lord
had protected him in the court of King Ahab in the beginning of his ministry.
The Lord protected him from the sword of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel when
he was hiding in the desert and during the two years with the widow in the
distress of Sidon, the heartland of "Baal country." He was also
protected when he met King Ahab again on a personal visit at the end of
the drought, and he was protected from the sword of the prophets of Baal
at the top of Mount Carmel. Self-pity and fear can cause all of us to become
spiritual blind for a time.
God told Elijah to go and stand in the same place he had had his servant
Moses stand when he appeared to him. "And the Lord was passing by!"
According to Psalm 18, the natural events that were about to take place
were signs of God's character: his terrible majesty and the fiery zeal of
his wrath and love, which consumes whatever opposes it (see Exodus 19:16-18).
These natural events had also been signs of his judgment in the past when
he appeared to Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. And God knew Elijah wanted
judgment on Israel---Jezebel, Ahab, and all those who still worshiped Baal.
But God was going to show Elijah through these dramatic phenomena what he
didn't at that time understand about God's character.
"And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking
in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind."
In the past God had used the east wind by the hand of Moses to bring the
plague of locusts to the land of Egypt (see Exodus 10:13). But he had also
used the wind to stop the judgment of the flood in the time of Noah (see
Genesis 8:1). God had used a great east wind to divide the Red Sea and hold
up the water on both sides like a wall as some six hundred thousand Jews
walked across the sea on dry land into the wilderness on their way to the
Promised Land (see Exodus 14:21f). God had used the wind to bring the quail
to feed the Jews in the wilderness (see Numbers 11:31). God had used the
east wind to bring the rain on Israel only about forty days earlier, after
Elijah's triumph over the prophets of Baal.
God is always present like the wind, and he can use this wind to bring judgment
or blessing. In fact, the wind is also the symbol of spiritual life that
Christ used to tell Nicodemus of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit,
and it was through that medium that they experienced the presence of the
Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. But for Elijah God was not in the wind;
that is, he would not use the wind to judge Israel to bring the nation back
into a relationship with him.
Then there was an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake. God had
used an earthquake to judge the rebellion of Korah in the wilderness (see
Numbers 16). Earthquakes are able to shake all the physical foundations
of this earth and bring down mountains as well as kingdoms, as they will
in the days of the great tribulation. Yet at this time God was not in the
earthquake; that is, he would neither judge Israel's sin nor destroy Israel's
enemies in this way.
Then there was fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. In the past God had
used fire to judge the sin of Sodom and to judge the nation of Egypt with
fire from heaven the likes of which Egypt had never seen in its recorded
history (see Exodus 9:22f). God had appeared before Moses in the burning
bush and on Mount Horeb in fire. As well, each night he was a pillar of
fire to lead his people through the wilderness. And fire came forth from
the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense in the rebellion
of Korah (see Numbers 16:35). Fire, as we saw earlier, was a spiritual symbol
of purity, judgment, and cleansing of sin. But God would not use fire to
bring judgment to Israel or her enemies.
Finally there was a sound of a gentle blowing (literally the tone of a gentle
blowing). "Elijah," God was saying, "I am not going to use
the wind, an earthquake, or fire to judge Israel or destroy her enemies
as I have in the past. This time I am going to use the gentle wind of my
Spirit to speak to each man's and woman's conscience." For when God
had passed by Moses in this same spot after the cutting of the second set
of the Ten Commandments, he had proclaimed to Moses, "The LORD, the
LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness
and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity,
transgression and sin...." (Exodus 34:1-9.) Elijah slowly began to
understand that God was going to deal with Israel in grace, mercy, and love
through him, Elisha, and the seven thousand who had not bowed their knee
to Baal. He was to be an instrument of God's grace seeking by God's message
to draw the people back to the living God in the same way Jesus would, who
said, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and
humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29).
Jesus would also tell his disciples, "Blessed are the gentle [those
whose strength is under the control of the Holy Spirit], for they shall
inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).
Elijah heard the voice of the Lord, and then he came to the mouth of the
cave and the Lord spoke to him a second time with the same question: "Elijah,
in light of what I just told you about how I am going to use a gentle blowing
to bring conviction to my people, what are you doing standing here?"
But Elijah was still gripped by pride, self-righteousness, self-pity, despair,
and fear. He kicked in the same blind response he had used the first time:
"I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons
of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, torn down Thine altars and killed
Thy prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life,
to take it away." Healing from a state of depression takes love, truth,
and then time.
The late sixties and early seventies were awesome days to be a Christian
and to minister among the "flower children" in the Bay Area and
across the country. It was a wild and exciting time as we saw thousands
of young people from all walks of life open up their hearts to Christ as
Lord and Savior. Baptisms were happening everywhere---bathtubs, back-yard
pools, water fountains, lakes, rivers, and the ocean. Bible studies were
springing up everywhere too, especially on school and university campuses.
One could not keep up with the work of the Lord as it appeared to come with
the power of a strong wind, an earthquake, and fire from heaven, so to speak.
Whenever I get together with other men and women who served the Lord in
those days, I notice that many of us are like Elijah of old, hungering for
a return of a little wind, earthquake, and fire---a message not of judgment,
but of salvation, for God was shaking the people in that time.
And yet as one looks out on the lives of the faithful men and women among
us, it appears to be a time of a gentle but very effective blowing of the
Lord moving among us today. You can see it in the faithfulness of parents
passing on the truth of salvation in Jesus to their children. You can see
it in the ministries of the Crisis Pregnancy Center, Familias Unidas en
Cristo, Green Pastures, the mission to Romania, Mexicali, Discovery Publishing,
Discovery Center, Sunday School, etc., etc. They are all staffed by people
just like the seven thousand quiet but faithful men and women who would
not bow their knee to Baal.
Not only did Elijah forget the presence and character of God, but...
Elijah forgot God's sovereign rule
1 Kings 19:15-21
And the LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the
wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael
king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel;
and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet
in your place. And it shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword
of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword
of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. Yet I will leave 7000 in Israel, all
the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed
So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he
was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth.
And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the
oxen and ran after Elijah and said, "Please let me kiss my father and
my mother, then I will follow you." And he said to him, "Go back
again, for what have I done to you?" So he returned from following
him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh
with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate.
Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.
God's judgment against the house of Ahab would come not by a strong wind,
earthquake, or fire but through another man named Elisha who would set in
motion the political and military forces that would take his wicked house
down. Meanwhile God would work behind and within Elijah's ministry like
a very gentle but powerfully effective blowing in the course of human events.
Elijah needed to get his eyes off himself so that he could again see with
the eyes of faith the Lord and see how he would deal with his idolatrous
people. This would be the secret of overcoming his personal depression,
which had all begun with his disappointment with God when "he saw"
only Jezebel and became afraid instead of continuing to believe in the presence
of the Lord. When God said, "Go," he encouraged the prophet to
make a choice to obey his word, and once Elijah made that choice God would
provide the power to enable him to believe him, get up out of his depressive
state, and accomplish three tasks: (1) Anoint Hazael king over Syria, Israel's
present enemy, who then would be used as a rod of discipline against them;
(2) anoint Jehu king over Israel (after the death of Ahab and his son Ahaziah);
and (3) anoint Elisha as a prophet in his own place. And God wanted him
to know that the wicked in Israel would not go unpunished.
God gave Elijah a final rebuke: "Elijah, in the depth of your spiritual
depression that was built on the foundation of fear, self-pity, and self-righteousness,
you told me twice, 'I alone am left.' Well, just for the record at this
moment, within this idolatrous nation there are seven thousand men and women
who will not suffer any judgment from the sword because they have not bowed
their knee to Baal nor kissed his statue." Among them would be Obadiah,
the one hundred prophets he saved, the many who came back to the Lord on
Mount Carmel, and as we will find later, a godly prophet named Micaiah.
Restored to spiritual health, Elijah made the choice to obey God's command
to "go," and God gave him the power to walk out of the wilderness.
He found a rich young man named Elisha (whose name means God is His Salvation)
and anointed him as the prophet to take his place. Elisha killed the oxen
that he was plowing with and sacrificed them to the Lord, and his family
and friends ate a farewell feast together. Then the two prophets left town
to follow the will of the Lord. Elijah anointed Elisha first, and then it
was left up to Elisha after Elijah's departure from this earth to anoint
Hazael king over Syria and Jehu king of Israel. At this point Elijah, as
we now know, became the symbol of the future forerunner of the Messiah,
John the Baptist, who would call God's people to repent of their sins. Elisha's
ministry in turn would reflect the ministry of Jesus in healing, teaching,
and convicting men and women of sin.
Elijah had wanted the Lord to take his life because in his disappointment
(1) he had forgotten the consistent presence of the one and only living
God; (2) he had forgotten the awesome character of God's love, grace and
mercy; and (3) he had forgotten God's sovereign rule over the hearts and
affairs of men and women in Israel and the surrounding nations. This truth
was nailed home when he heard the Lord tell him that he was not the only
godly man left in Israel but that the Lord knew of seven thousand others
who had not bent their knee to Baal.
After the apostle Paul and his disciples came out of a very depressing trial
in Asia, Paul wrote the Corinthians the lesson he had learned: "...we
were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even
of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order
that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who
delivered us from so great a peril of death and will deliver us, He on whom
we have set our hope." (2 Corinthians 1:8-9.)
In whom are we trusting?
In ourselves? Here begins the road to depression...
In Jesus Christ? Here begins the road to abundant life!
Catalog No. 4370
1 Kings 19:1-21
August 8, 1993
Copyright © 1993 Discovery
Publishing, a ministry of Peninsula
Bible Church. This data file is the sole property of Discovery Publishing,
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