The Lonely Prophets

Today's Bible reading: 1 Kings 19:1-18

We might think that this victory at Carmel would begin a mass return to the Lordbut we’d be wrong!  In our Old Testament reading for today - which happens right after this event - we find Elijah fleeing for his life to the desert.   And there we find him pouring out his sad and lonely tale to God.  And I want you all to notice a key insight in these verses.  Notice how he speaks with himself at the center: “I have been very jealous of the Lord … I, even I only, am left…”  He sees nothing but his own hopeless struggle, and wants death to rescue him from despair.  I think we can tend to be like this too – to focus in on ourselves, to keep heavy burdens on ourselves … instead of focusing on Christ and putting our burdens on Him, just as He invites us and instructs us to do.

We recall how God had once shown His power to Israel with thunder and lightning on Mount Sinai … now He speaks with a different voice.  He is not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire: He now speaks with a still small voice.  Elijah found no comfort and no assurance in God's power manifested in nature through the wind.  Rather, when God's Word came to instruct him in a quiet voice, then the prophet found truth and strength.  So too for us.  We find truth and strength through the Word that He shares with us – just as He is doing right now.  We find Him in the gentle whisper of His words: “Take eat, this is my body … take drink, this is my blood … for you for the forgiveness of your sins.”  Through His Supper, our Lord quiets us … and reassures us … and sends us back out into the world … reenergized and reinvigorated to live our lives in Him.  That small voice is enough to quiet the prophets repeated complaints as well … and send him back to His work.  The situation is not hopeless for him - or for us - so long as God is the Lord of history.  There is always still a faithful remnant!  God is still in control!

Prayer: I thank you dear god, that in the pages of the Bible, You have come with the reassuring whisper of Your presence and protection.  In the gentle Saviors' name.  Amen