Read 1 Kings 19:11-21
The Work Continues
Elijah was discouraged by his perceived lack of support and fled from the threat of Jezebel. He believed he was the only one faithful to God’s Word, but God showed him that he should not have run. He asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:13). Elijah was not where he was supposed to be, or where God wanted him to be; there was still work to be done, and in that work, the prophet would be supported by and protected by the Almighty.
Elijah explained his thought process, saying, “I alone am left; and they seek to take my life” (1 Kings 19:14). But God told the prophet, “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18). God did not reprimand His prophet harshly but encouraged him through the knowledge that there were others like him.
Since there were still faithful servants, God gave Elijah certain tasks to complete. These tasks would help get Elijah out of his depressed state, giving him real purposeful work to complete. When we find ourselves discouraged in our work, we should take a close look at its purpose and how fulfilling that purpose will help God’s cause. Elijah was told to anoint Hazael as king over Syria and Jehu as king over Israel. God also told him to anoint Elisha as the prophet to follow him.
Do you remember in school when a teacher would give you “busy work” to fill time? There was no real point to the work. This is not what God assigned to Elijah. Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha all had important work to do.
Elijah’s focus was no longer on his perceived failures against Ahab and Jezebel, but on the successes that lay before him in God’s kingdom. Was this not the apostle Paul’s focus as well? “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).