Elijah Flees from Jezebel
19 Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and [a]how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your [b]life as the [c]life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3 And he [d]was afraid and arose and ran for his [e]life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a [f]juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my [g]life, for I am not better than my fathers.” 5 He lay down and slept under a [h]juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.” 6 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. 7 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.” 8 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.
I’ve heard plenty said about Elijah’s amazing lack of trust in this passage, but something else jumped out at me today. In contrast to what you might expect for one with a lack of trust or faith, God sends an angel to Elijah in the wilderness to comfort and sustain him.
We’ll see God speak to Elijah soon enough, but for now there is no rebuke. There is no condemnation, only encouragement. Just an angel, gently waking Elijah from slumber, to the aroma of freshly baked bread and refreshing water. So refreshing, in fact, that it would sustain Elijah for 40 more days as he traveled to Horeb.
There are times when God pulls us up short, and says “hey dummy, get it together”, but He also knows when we need the opposite… when we need His comfort and peace in times of trial. For Elijah, this was that time. He was fresh on the heels of a decided victory, but Jezebel was not swayed, and vowed to end his life. That had to be quite the shock after Ahab and all the people had done an about face when God sent fire from Heaven. God knew Elijah’s heart, and He knew what was best for Elijah.
In times good or bad, know this: that God has a plan, and that God knows (and will provide) what is best and good for you in that time.