When Your Courage Runs Out
Bill West - October 18, 2020
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while 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 19:1–4
God Knows Our Needs
Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
1 Kings 19:5–10
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
God is Gentle but Direct
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
1 Kings 19:11–14
Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
God is not Finished with Us
The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
1 Kings 19:15–18
God is Not Done and You are Not on Your Own
- Share a time when you experienced great success at something. Talk about what that was like for you. If you are willing, share a time when you went through great discouragement. Talk about what that was like. What advice did people give you during this time.
- Read and Discuss 1 Kings 19:1-4: How was it possible for Elijah to go from the excitement of seeing God work on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18: 36-40) to where he is now? Can you relate in any way?
- Read and discuss 1 Kings 19:5-11: What was God’s response to Elijah? What do you think about his response? What are some of the typical responses people give during a time like this? Why would Elijah go to Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai)?
- Read 1 Kings 19:9-10, 13-14: Why does God ask the same question twice? What do you think God wants Elijah to learn from his answer? Can you relate to his answer?
- Read and discuss 1 Kings 19:11-13: What is the significance of this experience? Where do we expect to show up more often? Why do you think God speaks in a gentle whisper? Share a time when you know God has spoken to you?
- Read 1 Kings 19:15-18: What does God want Elijah to know and do? What does tell you about God and his plan for Elijah? What does it tell you about God and His plan for you?
- Discuss this Bottom Line: God is not done and you are not on your own. Pray for each other.