Elijah: One Voice against the System
I Kings 19:9–11
9There he went into a cave and spent the night.
The Lord Appears to Elijah
And the word of the Lord came to him:
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous
for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites
have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars,
and put your prophets to death with the sword.
I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
I Kings 19:9–10
I am praying right now for my anglo brothers and sisters. When I started writing this blog, I thought about the position and circumstances my anglo clergy brothers and sisters face. Just like there is a cry to bring down systemic racism in the government, laws and the application of said laws, our churches/denominations have positioned us all, particularly our anglo brothers and sisters to lend a hand and their voice to removing racism, politics, classism, & sexism from the practice of our faith.
Much like Elijah, there is much at stake. He has felt the pressure of speaking up, as well as seen the result of others that took a stance. He saw the radicals and how they were dealt with by those in power. He saw their lives taken, and understood the magnitude of the moment; taking stance for those who’s voices have been muted or taken away.
He won a major battle, liberating believers from persecution and fear, and began to tear down the structure one step at a time. His rebellious stance was successful, and while progress was made, those in power maintained their position and further turned their attention to Elijah. Fear overtook him, and he found himself shifting from having the power and confidence to stand for the Lord and chase down those who stood against God.
In this moment, Elijah cries out to the Lord in I Kings 19:10:
I Kings 19:10… I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
Elijah was enlightened! He knew what was right and what was wrong, but understood the large battle and dangers of fighting against an entire system. He would speak out against a system, had people in powerful positions, on the payroll, and receiving benefits. He wasn’t just trying to change a practice or an interpretations of a scripture, was asking God to work through him to restore the temple of God on person and evil practice at a time.
They know that on the other side of the sacrifice will be further sacrifice. Some will suffer violence, persecution, and many will be blackballed. Their reputations will be smeared, their income could stop, their entire lifestyle could change. And thus, while the desire is there to continue fighting, the reality of the situation could cause anyone to fear speaking up.
In the end, right is right! And for those that believe in God, we must continue finding the courage to stand in agreement with His Word. We must believe that our protection and prosperity come from him, and thus we don’t speak truth in fear, we speak truth in faith!
God tells Elijah (eventually), I Kings 19:18, “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel — all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” The reality was there were others that were frightened and scared to stand, but would gain strength through Elijah standing. They would stand with him, and ensure that the days of Baal came to an end, but it all hinged on Elijah continuing to stand.