It’s almost as if Elijah is giving up! We might wonder how he could even be afraid of Jezebel’s threats after the mighty way God showed up and used him. He probably did realize that, in spite of her oath, Jezebel’s gods wouldn’t kill her if she wasn’t successful. That just meant that Jezebel’s anger would live on, too.
Under the broom tree we see Elijah asking to die. He felt like he had done all he could. He was exhausted. He was depleted. It’s not surprising considering the great emotional high he just experienced on Mount Carmel.
I’m sure you can remember having a “mountain top” experience only to feel a bit let down when reality sets in. Or perhaps you remember overseeing a big event, pouring every ounce of your heart and soul into it. What happened when it was over? Depression can set in, or illness can take over.
That’s what we see happening to Elijah, too. But what did the LORD have to say about Elijah’s little “pity party”? The LORD said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” God wasn’t done with Elijah, and he’s not done with us either.
I loved how food and drink appeared out of nowhere. God has a way of doing that. Remember the manna in the wilderness? Even more surprising was that the bread and water Elijah consumed gave him the energy he needed to travel 40 days and nights to get to Mount Sinai.
You’ll recall, that’s the sacred place where Moses met with God. Certainly, God gave Elijah special strength to make the 200-mile (or so) trek. Like Moses before him and Jesus after him, Elijah would fast for 40 days and 40 nights on a mission for the LORD. (Fun fact: centuries later, Moses, Jesus, and Elijah would gather on a mountaintop in Luke 9:28-36.)
What I take away from this reading today is to seek refreshment from God when I’m feeling depleted. God will provide for me so that I can continue with the mission he has given me to do. I don’t need to despair and cry out, begging to die. If God is giving me breath, he is giving me a job to do.
What did these verses say to you? Are you feeling encouraged or discouraged? Are you trying to relinquish God’s call on your life like Elijah was? Are you feeling tired and burned out, unsure of your call? Take some time to have a conversation with God about his intentions for you.
Let’s pray …
Lord, help me to stay focused on you and what you are calling me to do. Refresh me. Renew me. You are my refuge and strength. I want to look to your wisdom to show me the way you have for me. Remind me of my mission and open the doors I should walk through. Thank you for how you provide for me each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.