Elijah was one of the great Old Testament prophets of Israel.
He ran scared for his life into the desert when Queen Jezebel threatened him. Why?
The short answer–he was scared.
The long answer–he was scared of Queen Jezebel and didn’t want to die. She must have been a scary person to strike that much fear in the seemingly fearless prophet who feared no one but God Almighty.
Was Elijah weak in faith when he ran?
The short answer–yes.
The long answer–yes he was, but that just makes him human like the rest of us.
James 5:17 “Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.”
This verse points out that he did great things but he was just a man of flesh and faults like the rest of us.
He faced off with king Ahab (Not the white whale hunter) and told him bluntly that things needed to change.
He faced off with the false prophets of Baal and told them to stop telling lies.
He confronted the people of Israel and told them to get on God’s side or be on the wrong side.
At the end of the day…no really it was at the end of the day when the false prophets of Baal had finished hours of attempting to get their false gods to rain down fire from heaven to show they were accepting of the offering, Elijah said ‘It’s time for the real God to show up.”
1 Kings 18: 38-39 “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. and when all the people saw it they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord he is the God.”
Elijah showed great confidence and boldness in the public confrontation of the 400 plus prophets. The large crowd of bystanders were ready to cheer for the god or God who won the day. Elijah could have been intimidated, but it doesn’t appear that he was. It doesn’t appear that he lacked any faith in what God would do that day. He had great faith.
But after this amazing victory he sort of fell off the cliff. His confidence plummeted.
Queen Jezebel told him she was coming to get him. That was all he needed to hear and he ran as fast as he could to get as far away as possible. The mighty prophet was afraid; just like we are so many times. The mighty prophet didn’t think he could face his trouble; just like us. The prophet knew he had a Mighty God who loved him and could do miracles to help him; just like us.
He ran anyway; just like us so many times.
We are just like the great prophet Elijah.
His lack of confidence when he should have known he had no reason to be afraid is one of the reasons I am so drawn to that great man of God.
I’ve had days when I didn’t feel so confident. I’ve had days when I preferred to run instead of meet the challenge head on.
Are you also like the mighty prophet of God who feared nothing and no one except God Almighty? I think you might be.
I’ve got a little bit of Elijah in me. Do you?