Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What does God say about giving up

1 Kings 19

In case this is an unfamiliar story to anyone, let me give a brief background. (HA! Like anything I say is brief!) The people of Israel were worshipping other gods, specifically Baal and Asherah. Elijah was truly the only prophet of God left. He had the king assemble all the people of Israel along with all the prophets of Baal and Asherah which numbered 850. They decided that they would each pray to their gods and Elijah would pray to God. Whoever showed up with fire to consume the sacrifice would be the true God. Well, of course, God won and Elijah slaughtered the prophets of Baal and Asherah. Boy, did that make Jezebel mad! That is where our story picks up today. 

Elijah was afraid and ready to give up. I have asked myself so many times when reading this story why Elijah was afraid. He had just seen the God of Heaven reign down in fire when Elijah asked Him to. Why didn't he just call down some fire on Jezebel? That answer I may never know, but I am sure from what we do see in scripture that Elijah felt very alone. He says to God twice that he is the only prophet left and that the people are now trying to kill him. He felt discouraged, isolated, and ultimately defeated. 

What really struck me this morning as we were reading this story as a family is not what God said, but what He did not say. He did not say, "Oh, get up! What's wrong with you? You have me! Now get back to work!"  He had no condemnation or judgement at all for his servant. Instead he told him that he was not alone and even instructed him who was going to succeed him as a prophet of God. God did not want him to feel isolated or discouraged, and I believe He understood Elijah's real need for companionship and fellowship with another believer. 

Have you ever felt like giving up? I sure have. One of the things that has kept me from giving up is that for some reason God has blessed me beyond measure with people that love me and lift me up in prayer. At the darkest time in my life, actually one of the darkest days of my life, God woke up a friend of mine in the night to pray for me. How amazing this God is that we serve. I hope you know that He has not given up on you and even when we feel like giving up, He stands ready to see us through. 

No comments: