The Day Elijah Failed Mathematics
Furious Jezebel may have been ‘frothing’ at the mouth with her fists clenched. To say she was livid would be an understatement. Watch out Elijah! She means business. If her husband King Ahab wimped out, she sure wasn’t going to.
Ahab had the confrontation with Elijah at Mount Carmel in 1Kings 18. God demonstrated that He alone is God and Baal was very much a false god. Baal was as ‘dead as a nit,’ unable to respond to the cries of his worshippers. At the impressive display of God’s power, the people chanted: “The Lord, He is the God!” King Ahab couldn’t deny it. The false prophets were wiped out and a torrential rain marked the end of a long famine.
The King galloped home to tell his wife Jezebel about the embarrassing defeat. “I failed honey.” She was outraged. With flaming fingers flying furiously over her phone, she texted Elijah, the man of God – sort of. “Elijah, by this time tomorrow you’ll be dead meat!” The transcript of her message went like this: “So let the gods do to me and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them (the slain false prophets) by tomorrow about this time.” 1Kings 19:2
Elijah panicked. “I’m a goner!” In a flash he bolted! With cheetah-like speed, he runs wildly down the road. It’s called running for your life!
Just 24 hours earlier this prophet of God fearlessly stood before the wicked King on Mount Carmel. He confronted him with his wickedness and idolatry. He was mightily used of God to expose the emptiness of the false god Baal. He convincingly proved the might and power of the Almighty God. He took decisive action to wipe out the 450 prophets of Baal. And now…yes, that blur is Elijah at top speed! One brief message from Her Royal Highness and Elijah is running for his life until he collapses under a juniper tree and says to the Lord: “Let me die.”
Dear Child of God have you had a spiritual high? A mountain peak of Christian experience when you sensed the very presence of God? The closeness and intimacy and spiritual energy were very real! Have you had a recent victory over some dark battle? Have you just taken a stand for your Lord against something your friends were doing? But today is different. The strength is gone. Things couldn’t be bleaker or weaker. The nasty fingers of fear have a death grip on your throat – choking you. You feel you’re going to lose this one. Sounds like you’re under your own juniper tree. How’s your math?
Get your eyes off yourself and focus again on your God. It seems that Elijah was only seeing two things at that point: the terrifying determination of Jezebel to murder him and his own inability to prevent it from happening. What was missing in Elijah’s bleak equation? Or more appropriately – Who was missing?
Have you analyzed your equation today?
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.