October 26, 2011

Coming Down From the Mountaintop

1 Kings 18:45-19:6

“I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
1 Kings 19:4


It had been a day of over-whelming victory. God had revealed his presence and power in fire and storm. The power of God had even come on Elijah, stirring him to run ahead of Ahab’s chariot.

But then Elijah received a death threat from Queen Jezebel, and he ran for his life. In just a short time, Elijah went from being a confident prophet of the Lord on Mount Carmel to a man who doubted that his life was worth living.

As Elijah was running from Jezebel, he decided to separate from his servant. Maybe he thought he could travel faster alone. Or maybe he was just ready to go into the desert and die. Here we see that Elijah was not superhuman but was an ordinary person like us. Though he was God’s prophet and the Lord had worked through him in powerful ways, Elijah was now physically, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted. He was also afraid.

After everything that had happened, Ahab and Jezebel were still on the throne, and Elijah had reached his limit. He went into a tailspin toward deep depression and couldn’t see a way out. “LORD … take my life,” he said. Though Elijah couldn’t see it, God was still at work and hadn’t given up on him.

When we come down from the mountaintop, God is there with us too.

God of the mountains and valleys, keep us close. Protect and deliver us, we pray. Give us the rest and strength we need, and help us serve you again. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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