Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
There are some threats in this world which should rightly make us shake in our boots. Some of those threats are phrased as promises, but they are promises that evil will come upon us. In 1 Kings, Elijah had been engaged in the work of a prophet. One of his prophetic acts had been to demonstrate that the result of idol worship was death. This he proclaimed very graphically by executing a large number of idolatrous priests who had been deceiving God’s people.
It was no great surprise when King Ahab, the one in charge of those priests of Baal, took counsel with his wife, a counselor even more vicious than himself. Her promise, delivered to Elijah, was that he would be dead the next day.
I don’t know about you, but I have a suspicion. If someone had a message hand delivered to you, telling you of your impending death, and if that person had a track record of delivering death, you would want to change your address quite suddenly. This is what Elijah did. After all, Jezebel had the means to have him killed. She was able to deliver the message as well. No doubt her executioner could find Elijah quite easily enough. It isn’t surprising that he ran away. You would also. So would I.
What was God’s response to this threat? We think it is one of those promise-threats which should make us shake in our boots. God’s response, though, was unexpected. He made sure Elijah had plenty to eat and drink. He gave him some rest. After all, he was going to have a long journey ahead of him. He had forty days’ walk ahead of him, with which he was nourished only by what he ate and drank before the walk.
Where did Elijah go? He went to Horeb, where he engaged in, as you expected, more prophetic activity. Elijah was never killed by Ahab or Jezebel. He was faithful to God for the rest of his days on earth.
What is God’s response to the troubles that threaten us? As we are trusting in His Word, we will be fine. He will provide for us. That provision may not be what we would expect. He never did send Elijah out to go golfing for thirty years before dying peacefully in his rocking chair while reading a golfing magazine. But he took care of Elijah. No harm came upon him.
Jesus promises to be with his people. He will remain with them to the end of the age. There is nothing to fear. Even death has been destroyed in the death and resurrection of Christ. Jezebel certainly has no power over us. This is the confidence we can have in Christ.
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