Background: 1 Kings 19
Key Verse: There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9 ESV
Imagine winning one of the greatest victories in your life. However, instead of receiving adulation, you receive threats of revenge. You have just shown that what you said was possible, but your opponent is focused on their loss. As such, they will do anything to ensure you do not win again.
This is what happened to Elijah. He had experienced a great victory, showing that God was the supreme God. Jezebel, his opponent, was full of wrath and promised to end his life by the next day. So, Elijah ran to the wilderness. As he rested under a broom tree in the wilderness, Elijah cried out to God. He asked God to allow him to die. Eventually, he laid down and fell asleep. After he had rested a bit, an angel touched his shoulder to wake him. He told Elijah to eat. Waiting on him was a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. Elijah ate as instructed. Afterward, Elijah slept again. The angel came a second time to wake him. Again, food was prepared for him. The angel insisted that Elijah eat and drink because the journey ahead was too great. Elijah ate and drank, and he was able to survive off the food and drink for forty days and nights.
In that time, Elijah traveled up to Mt. Horeb. On Mt. Horeb, he sheltered himself in a cave. As he resided there, God asked, “Why are you here, Elijah?” Elijah told the Lord how he had served Him but that the people had turned against God, even killing other prophets like himself. Elijah thought he was the only one left willing to serve God. He ran to preserve his life. After Elijah had expressed himself, God told him to go stand on the mountain. While Elijah stood, a strong wind passed by. Then, an earthquake occurred. Next, there was a fire, but God was not in any of these. Finally, Elijah heard a low whisper. “Elijah, what are you doing here?” Again, Elijah relayed to God his situation, but Elijah had made an assumption. God still had people who worshipped Him, prophets willing to serve, and a plan to destroy those who opposed him. God told Elijah what to do, and he went forth to fulfill the plan. Elijah did not die as Jezebel had planned. Instead, she did.
- Have you ever faced a victory only to have your elation squashed because others were not happy for you? How did you feel? What did you want to do?
- Have you ever done the right thing, but people were mad and tried to hurt you as a result? Do we stop doing what’s right even if others are displeased?
- Elijah ran when he was threatened. Does running or hiding from a problem solve a problem? Why or why not?
- Elijah was in such great fear of his life he wanted God to let him die. What do we need to remember in the face of fear?
- Though Elijah thought the solution was for him to pass away, God had another plan. Share a time when you just wanted to give up, but someone in your life would not let you. What lesson did you learn?
- Two times God asked Elijah why he was on the mountain. What do you think God wanted Elijah to realize?
- Sometimes, we make assumptions. How can assumptions lead us wrong? Share an example.
- Finally, Elijah realized that God already had a plan to deal with Jezebel and those who had rebelled. From this realization, what do we need to remember for our lives when we face difficult situations?
- Even if we do everything right, we may find ourselves in a negative situation through no fault of our own. What is the first step we need to take in addressing the situation?
- What is the most important lesson you learned from this story and how will you apply it to your life?
What does the bible say in regards to the opposition?
- Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Titus 2:7-8 ESV
- “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12 ESV
- For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12 ESV
- You must continue being who God created you to be no matter what the opposition thinks.
- You are going to face hard times if you are living according to God’s word. However, you are not alone. Not only are other people doing the same, but also, God is always on your side.
- God hears you. Do not run. Stand and pray. Move when He tells you to move.