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The Story of Elijah

June 2008

     Elijah, the prophet of God, whose story is told in the Bible, was at one point in his life overcome with loneliness and self-pity. It is perhaps significant that this experience in life occurred very soon after he had a notable victory and high point in his life.
     It can happen that way for most anyone. Because a high point in life can bring about a feeling of elation, self-assurance, and perhaps even pride, Satan, our enemy, will use the occasion to set us up for a fall.
     That is what happened to Elijah. God had given him a great manifestation of His power by sending fire from heaven as a sign that He is the true God, in refute against all the false prophets of Baal.
     There are some definite lessons to be learned from this account. Elijah had a stunning victory - but he felt like a man alone. Here he was - one man against a whole nation sunk deeply in idolatry and sin.
     God had unmistakably shown to all the people that the Lord was God. However, Elijah's feeling of victory was cut short by a threat against his life by Jezebel, the queen. The emotional intensity of the previous days had taken its toll, and Elijah crashed.
     Discouragement, and a desperate feeling of extreme loneliness took over, and he ran for his life, not stopping until he was hundreds of miles away in the wilderness. (Read this full account in 1 Kings 19).
     One of the things we note in this account is his feeling of being alone. But it is interesting how God took care of that. God told him, "I have left me seven thousand in Israel . . ." (1Ki 19:18). This was the count of Elijah's allies and friends! Elijah was far from alone!
     But is that not how we tend to be? When things are tough, we begin to feel like there is no one else to whom we can turn for support.
And we feel alone.
     Well, God led His discouraged and lonely prophet Elijah to a mountain, where he was given a time of rest and solitude. Then God spoke to him in a still small voice - showing to Elijah that as he moved in faith and trust toward God - God would be there to give spiritual and emotional strength and renewal.
     While this account of Elijah has many more lessons than we can cover here - we do learn that God is interested and concerned about the feeling of loneliness in the lives of His people.
     We all need friends, and sometimes, like Elijah, we have the mistaken feeling that we have none. If we feel that way, most likely we are mistaken.
     Are you lonely - or know someone who is? Reach out and make a friend. And remember - our Lord is a friend who really understands you, and has the help you need.

- Mervin Brubacher,
   Barwick, ON
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 1 Kings 19:9