Monday, February 15, 2010

How Quickly We Forget

This morning I was reading 1 Kings 18-19. It was a great reminder of how quickly we are able to forget God's work in our lives, especially when we allow our circumstances to appear bigger than God.

Elijah is the example in these two chapters. God tells Elijah to go to Ahab, who had been killing all of God's prophets at the command of Jezebel. Elijah did just as God had told him to do. He met Obadiah who worked in the palace and told him to bring Ahab to meet him. Obadiah was hesitant because he knew that Ahab had been trying to kill Elijah for some time and was afraid that it would happen (Obadiah had actually hidden 100 prophets in caves so that they would be spared.), but he does what Elijah requests.

Elijah then challenges the prophets of Baal to a test to see whose God was the true God. He set the parameters and invited the Baal prophets to go first. They tried nearly all day to get Baal to respond, but to no avail. When evening came, Elijah called upon God to show that he was the one true living God and he did. Elijah then had all of the prophets of Baal killed. He also told Ahab that there would be rain (there had been a famine in the land) which God provided.

The next day Ahab reported all that had happened to Jezebel who responded by sending a death threat to Elijah. In response, Elijah ran for his life. He ran far out into the desert where he asked God to kill him. God sent angels to care for him and send him on to Mount Horeb where God himself appeared to Elijah. When asked by God what he was doing, he lamented that he had been faithful to God but was now the only prophet of God still living and was being hunted down as well. In response, God gave him tasks that he was to complete.

I got a lot out of this passage this morning. My observations were the following:

>God had just burned up the altar to prove that he was the living God and not 24 hours later Elijah was afraid of a woman who worshiped a god that didn't exist. He had trusted God to keep him safe when going to a man who had killed most of the other prophets of God, but didn't trust him to keep him safe when receiving a specific threat.

>Obadiah had told Elijah that he had saved one hundred prophets and yet Elijah is whining that he is the only one left. Did he not hear what Obadiah had said? He was stuck in self-pity land.

>Elijah whines to God when asked why he had fled and God's response is not to remind him that he's not alone, but to send him off to anoint people to fight on Israel's behalf. He also tells him to anoint Elisha to become prophet after him, which may have helped him to feel that perhaps he wasn't in danger, but hopefully reminded him that God was in control. I mean, God just revealed himself to Elijah on the mountain, if that doesn't bolster faith, there's a problem.

I know that I am guilty of forgetting what God has done for me. I'm sure I have gone from a mountain high to a mountain low in an extremely short period of time. I am sure that God gets frustrated with me when I doubt his goodness or presence. However, I am thankful for the reminder that he will still use me despite myself because he has plans that he is going to see through. Elijah wasn't written off as hopeless. God encouraged him and then sent him off to do more things that God wanted him to do.

1 comment:

  1. Great insight, Meggo. I know that I forget God's goodness and power way too quickly!! Jill