‘And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets (of Baal) with the sword.’ (1 Kings 19:1).
Because of Ahab's wickedness, God withheld the rain. After three years of drought, God told Elijah to go again to Ahab. Elijah challenged the king to assemble all the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel to prove who was really the Living God. Elijah proved that the God of Israel was still alive.
That day on Mount Carmel, the great purpose for which Elijah lived seemed to have been accomplished. Baal's prophets were slain; Jehovah was exalted by one mighty miracle; and false worship was exposed.
Elijah probably expected the miracle on Mount Carmel and the execution of the Baal priests to turn the nation from idols and bring national repentance, but he was bitterly disappointed. When Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah had killed the prophets of Baal, she vowed she would kill him. Elijah fled to Beer-sheba, discouraged and wanting to die. He felt he had failed, and in his hour of deepest disappointment, he cried out to God: It is enough now; O Lord, take away my life (1 Kings 19:4).
James 5:17 says that Elijah was a man of passions as we are and at this time, he was altogether occupied with his own problems and did not turn to God for renewed strength. However, God neither rebuked Elijah for his fears nor answered his prayer for death, nor did He permit Jezebel to kill him. Instead God gave him rest and food (1 Kings 19:5-8). Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
Elijah's greatest success was not in the display of fire on Mount Carmel, but in the strength he imparted to 7,000 people who confessed: The Lord, He is the God (1 Kings 18:39).
All of us have had times of disappointment and moments of hopelessness when it seemed that our highest expectations were met with ridicule. But we must look beyond appearances and remain faithful to the still small voice (1 Kings 19:12).
The Lord's mercy to Elijah is an encouragement to all who are facing lonely hours or a seemingly hopeless situation. God permits times of distress and heavy burdens. So, when you have done your best and it seems you have failed, just remember that the God of Elijah cares.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Galatians 6:9).
Through the power of the Word, the Christian can face even the most hopeless situation.
(courteousy of SBC)