1 Kings 19 opens with Elijah running for his very life. It’s ironic isn’t it? When on the mountaintop (chapter 18), with 450 angry Baal prophets surrounding him, Elijah didn’t fear. He prayed boldly and with complete confidence that God would show up. And his prayers were answered. For a prophet like Elijah, life didn’t get any better than seeing God’s glory displayed in a consuming fire and your enemy soundly defeated.
And yet, when Elijah should have felt closest to God—right after witnessing God’s mighty power—Elijah feared for his very life, ran and hid.
In a matter of just a few days, Elijah went from a mountaintop experience complete with courageous faith, to being in a spiritual valley consumed with intense fear, doubt, and loneliness. Literally in the wilderness, Elijah asks God to take his life and accuses God saying, “Where are you? Everyone is against me. Why have you left me all alone?”
And in a beautiful display of grace and compassion, God answers Elijah in a gentle and quiet whisper. He doesn’t have to answer. God owes Elijah nothing, and yet God chooses to reveal himself to the scared and lonely prophet. God meets Elijah exactly where he is—in the midst of despair, anxiety, and confusion—and reminds him of who he is.
In essence, God says, “I haven’t forgotten you, Elijah. You are not alone. I have a plan and purpose, and am working all things according to my glory. Although you may fear, remember that I am with you.”
1. What part of Elijah’s story do you most relate to currently, his mountaintop experience or his spiritual valley experience?
2. In what specific areas of your life does fear tend to lurk?
3. Based on Elijah’s experience with God, what do you think God would say to you in response to your fear?