DEPRESSION…ELIJAH: FEAR VS FAITH
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed
all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say,
“May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow
I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 3 Elijah was afraid and ran for
his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while
he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush,
sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,”
he said, “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
Organizing Observation: There are times in our life when the threats
of Jezebel strike more fear in us than the Faith we have in God’s Word!
As I studied this passage, I saw the people of God in 2022. We are a people that have experienced the power and hand of God in our lives. He has been with us through the storms and the rains. Brought us through trials and tribulations. Allowed us to defeat and overcome challenges that seemed unsurmountable. He has honored His Word and has been more faithful to us than we have been to Him. Yet, we find ourselves still cowering in fear when the words of the adversary come to us.
Honestly, I was a little frustrated with Elijah. But to be honest, I was less frustrated with him and more frustrated with myself. Elijah says something powerful at the end of his prayer for death, ” I am no greater than my ancestors.” I realized that we are the same. We have more documented proof of God’s faithfulness through others, and have experience with God personally, and yet we still have moments where the threatening messages of Jezebel strike fear in our hearts greater than the promises we have with God. And yet, we find ourselves complaining about what we don’t have, comparing ourselves to others, and coveting what others have. Worse, we like Elijah find ourselves running in fear from a defeated foe! We tremble at the words of the adversary as opposed to responding with the Promises of our God!
As impressed as we all about the battle with the false prophets in Chapter 18, we are all left with the lasting impression of this Great Champion of the Kingdom bowed in defeat under the broom brush tree.
I thought to myself,
“The Devil didn’t mind Elijah defeating the 450 false prophets
because he was gearing up for the real battle that would take
place under the Broom Brush Tree.
The 450 false prophets had no power. They used illusion and deception to give the presence of power. They were trained to follow a script, and ruled not by signs and wonders, but by hatred and violence. They were bound to rituals and had no relationship or authority to the real source of power. They were mere Pawns, but Elijah was a Bishop, who had the power and mobility of a Queen. He was connected and was in covenant with the Almighty and had the potential to connect people to God’s will and lead the people of God in a righteous manner.
Destroying Elijah would do far more damage than destroying even the 500 prophets Obadiah had hidden in the cave. Not only did the people of God receive a message from God’s heart from Elijah the Prophet, but the Prophets in the guild he led verified their messages by spending time with Elijah. Being in his presence insured that their messages were one with God and clear in communication with God’s people.
Furthermore, destroying Elijah would thwart the rise of Elisha. Elijah was purposed to train the Prophets in the land and would be given the specific charge of training his replacement. Not only would Elisha replace him, but he would leave him with a double portion of anointing. Elisha would be the one to carry trusted mantle of Elijah, and the people of God would be assured to be connected to the heart of the divine.
Thus, the battle with the 450 false prophets was great, but the greater battle would take place under a broom brush tree. There would be no sacrificial bull, nor would there be any fire from heaven, but a fight from the stage from within. Elijah was feeling the stress and anxiety from knowing Jezebel would stop at nothing to end his life and would buckle to the knowledge that he would have to have more battle like the one he just completed. He had given his all in this great stand and couldn’t fathom being bold enough and strong enough to handle another confrontation.
The truth is many of us feel exactly the same. We have one good battle in us mentally and physically, and while the Spirit can do more, we are challenge with answering the bell. At this point, one might feel like the easiest and simplest way of dealing with the problem at hand is not to face it by ending life, but this is when we must lean upon the Lord and accept the Lord’s provision. The Angel says, eat, drink and rest. Sometimes we have to put ourselves to bed and allow our mind to rest and our bodies to heal.
My prayer is that you will get rest! That you will hydrate! That you will eat a good meal! That you will find the sweat rest that comes from laying your cares before the Lord and trusting Him! He will come through. Jezebel might still be there when you awake, but so will the Lord! He is with you and is more than anyone that dare stand against you. My prayer is that you experience fewer dark nights, and more peaceful slumbers. And for those who are tormented by the words of Jezebel, I pray that you will spend so much time in God’s Word, that the voice of Jezebel will find itself muted in your head.
If you are in Houston and struggling with dark nights and thinking about taking your life:
Crisis Intervention of Houston
3701 Kirby Dr, Houston · (832) 416–1177