I Kings -46 and 19:1-18 October 31, 2004
INTRODUCTION: Since the beginning of the
Many people describe life as a battlefield experience: there are times of winning and joy, and there are times of losing and sadness. Winning or losing a battle is never the defining point of a war, it is the persistence and perseverance, or the lack if it, that will define victory or defeat. Those who survive the losses and continue to fight with courage and determination are the ones who will eventually win the war of life.
The Scripture verses quoted above in I Kings 19 are only part of the story of victory and defeat and victory again in the life of the heroic Prophet Elijah. His mountain top story on Mt. Carmel facing the opposing forces of 450 false prophets of the idol Baal, calling down fire from heaven to burn the sacrifices and the alter is one of the most beloved story in the Bible. Yet the man of faith went through a time of self defeat and pity only hours after a great victory. Let us see what caused him to sink and how did her reclaim his purpose of life into victory again.
THE TRAPS THAT BROUGHT HIM DOWN: No one will fall flat on his face without a series of faulty steps preceding the fall. Elijah retreated to his sense of defeat went through the same route many people had since traveled.
1) HE WAS AFRAID because of the threat on his life by the wicked queen Jezebel on his life. He suddenly forgot the Lord of the Hosts, Jehovah, had just given him victory over 450 false prophets associated with the wicked queen. Irrational FEAR is always the cause of many defeats in the lives of many giants of faith in the Bible and the 2,000 years of Christian history. Whenever we forget to see the power of God, fear will take control of our lives and defeats will follow.
EXAGGERATED HIS PROBLEM when he heard of the queen’s threat. Since Elijah had
defeated and killed the army of 450 false prophets with the people of
LOST HIS SELF ESTEEM: When he compared himself with his ancestors, he felt so
little of himself. He felt no good in him, asked God to take his life. While
the bible does teach us to be humble, it never tells us to lose sight of our
unique usefulness in the hands of God. God had just used him to perform great
miracles on that mountain top and the people of
RAN AWAY FROM GOD: God had a mission for him in
5) HE WANTED TO DIE: Many people think that the only way to finish a meaningless life is to die. But death can never bring any meaning to that life. Elijah was right to talk to God, but he was wrong to ask to die. Death can never solve any problem we face. It is the courage to face the problem and solve it with the help of the Lord that brings meaning to life.
THE STEPS GOD RESTORED HIM AGAIN: Sometimes we need to thank God for not answering our prayers and this is certainly one of those times. Instead of allowing Elijah to die in that cave, God restored him to courage, strength and his position in history.
HEARD HIS DESPARATE CRY: (19:5-8) Just as God heard the cry of the people of
2) GOD BROUGHT BACK PURPOSE: By asking Elijah “What are you doing here” twice, 19:9 & 13, God brought back the purpose of life to his heart. God had given him a purpose, but Elijah had lost it in midway of his life. What can Elijah do in that cave in the middle of no where to fulfill that purpose God had given him? He was at the wrong place asking for the wrong thing for a wrong purpose, his purpose, not God’s. Life without God’s purpose is a waste.
DEMONSTRATED HIS POWER AGAIN: God did
once on the top of
4) GOD RECOMMISSIONED HIM: God had not finished using Elijah in His plans. God commissioned him to anointed two kings and another prophet, Elisha, the successor of Elijah. No privilege is the Bible is more honorable than anointing kings and prophets and that is exactly what God wanted Elijah to do. You may feel you are done with God. But God is not done with you, not yet.
5) YOU ARE NOT ALONE: Loneliness is the worst foe in the service of God or in life experience. You may feel no one understand you or no one cares about you. Most of the times when you feel that way, you are wrong. Certainly Elijah felt that way, , 14, but he was so wrong. God showed him He had some 7,000 faithful servants who had never bowed to Baal.
CONCLUSION: Sooner or later, we all may go through the valley of death, as King David had but we need not do what Elijah did. Be careful not to fall in the traps that caught Elijah off guard. Remember, you should never quit God before finishing His purpose and mission in your life. We may be hurt, injured and want to give up. But you should never lose sight or courage to fight that battle until you win the victory in Him.