TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 19:1-9a
TO CHEW ON: "Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. ... he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, Lord,' he said. 'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.' ” 1 Kings 19:3,4
No sooner did Ahab get home and tell Queen Jezebel that Elijah had killed her Baal prophets than Jezebel threatened Elijah’s life. “By this time tomorrow, you’ll be dead like them,” she told him by messenger.
If Elijah expected Jezebel to believe in God after the contest on the mountain, he saw now that wasn’t going to happen. Her message terrified him. He and his servant took off, running as fast and as far as they could. When they got to Beersheba, Elijah let his servant rest while he traveled another day, far into the desert.
As he ran and walked and ran some more, he probably thought of what had just happened. It seemed that Ahab hadn’t learned anything from the three years of no rain and the contest on the mountain. Even though he, Elijah, had done his best, nothing had worked out the way he hoped. He was just a big failure.
Finally too tired and discouraged to go on any further, he sat down in the shade of a broom tree and prayed, “God, I want to die.” Then he fell asleep.
He woke up when something touched him. Someone – an angel – was beside him!
“Get up and eat,” the angel said. In front of him was fresh-baked bread and water.
Elijah ate, then fell back asleep. Some hours later he awoke to the angel’s touch again. Again there was food and water waiting for him.
After that Elijah had the strength and will to go on. He traveled forty more days till he came to Mount Horeb, far away from Jezebel’s threat. The God who could send fire to burn an offering also knew how to encourage His tired and hungry prophet.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for encouraging us when we feel like giving up. Amen.
MORE: Prescription for Discouragement
When you think about what had happened to Elijah, you'll agree it's no wonder he was discouraged.
1. He’d just been through a very exciting time of seeing God defeat Baal and sending rain.
2. He had just spent days running and was super tired.
3. He hadn’t had much to eat.
Next time you’re discouraged, ask yourself if some of the things that discouraged Elijah may also be affecting you. Then take the prescription for discouragement.
1. Has something very exciting happened to you lately? Sometimes a return to normal living makes us feel blah after the excitement we’ve just experienced.
Give yourself time to get used to everyday life again.
2. Are you tired? When you don’t get enough sleep, discouragement easily takes hold.
Take a nap. Go to bed early, get up late. Catch up on sleep and get rested.
3. Are you hungry? Not eating properly helps feed discouragement.
Have a good meal. Eat healthy foods (including fruits and vegetables) and drink lots of water.