Elijah Flees From Jezebel

Dwight Moody was traveling by boat on one of the Great Lakes when a really bad storm developed. The other passengers on the boat cowered in fear. They even started an impromptu prayer meeting asking God to deliver them from the storm. Moody didn’t join in this prayer meeting. … More

Fear

 

 

Jezebel had not been on Mount Carmel and only heard what her husband reported to her (vv. 1-5). Elijah’s treatment of her prophets made her very angry, so she sent a message to him that she was going to kill him within 24 hours in retaliation for his slaughtering of the 450 prophets of Baal. Upon receiving this warning Elijah was terrified. This seemed strange after all the boldness he had just demonstrated but evidently his fear came from the power Jezebel possessed.

 

Rather than resting in God for His protection as he had for the past three and one-half years, Elijah ran for his life. He ran all the way across the kingdom of Judah to the southern town of Beersheba.

 

Still fearful he might be discovered by Jezebel’s spies he told his servant to stay behind and watch while he traveled alone one more day’s journey (about 15 miles) into the Negev desert. Finally he sat down under a broom tree (a desert bush that grows to a height of 12 feet and provides some, though not much, shade) and rested. He was so discouraged he prayed that he might die.

 

Elijah woke at the touch of a divinely sent messenger (vv. 6-8). This angel woke Elijah, perhaps after he had slept for some time, and urged him to eat some food, since the journey he had ahead of him would require much energy. Moses and the Israelites had traveled in that wilderness for 40 years, sustained by the manna God had provided for them and learned lessons of His faithful care and provision. Now Elijah would traverse the same desert for 40 days and nights, sustained by the bread God provided and would learn the same lessons. A direct trip from Beersheba to Mount Horeb (the ancient name for Mount Sinai would have taken Elijah only about 14 days on foot (a distance of approximately 200 miles).

 

Application

 

 

Elijah had forgotten the lessons God had been teaching him at Zarephath, and Carmel. His eyes were on his circumstances rather than on the Lord. Exhausted and discouraged, Elijah lay down and fell asleep. Lord help me to not soon forget the lessons you have taught me and become discouraged.

 

I Kings 19:1-7 (English Standard Version)

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow." Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers." And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, "Arise and eat." And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, "Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »