1 Kings 16 – 19
Here’s this massive and dangerous confrontation between God represented by Elijah and 450 other prophets who had been leading God’s people far away from him. Was Elijah a man of extraordinary holiness and ability to be given such a scary responsibility?
What today’s reading makes clear is that God had spent years building into Elijah’s life to get him to this point. Elijah had plenty of evidence of God’s power – he’d raised a dead child; of God’s ability to provide the bare necessities for him in super-natural (i.e. better than natural) ways, of hearing God’s voice and being directed by him. His authority came from 3 years in God’s company. If God gives you a task or calls you to something, it is his problem to equip you for it.
Then came the BIG day and together Elijah and God made an AWESOME team.
And then? He ran away from a wicked woman. Ran for his life. And prayed to die.
How often does someone do a great thing for God and then hit a wall? God’s heroes are ordinary people that he resources in extraordinary ways. What they have done is made a choice about who they’re going to follow. See 1 Kings 18:21.
God doesn’t abandon Elijah to his post-adrenalin slump. He feeds him, lets him catch up on some rest, gives him a fresh revelation of himself, listens to him whining, and then gives him a talking to. And Elijah gets going again. Sounds familiar!
Mavis Staples singing a Bob Dylan song
Dylan singing it! If you prefer.