This is a famous story. It really is very impressive how the priests of Baal were humiliated in their bloody ritual, and how God delivered magnificently and undeniable. In a quick turnaround, they went from following the Baal priests to killing them.
This actually doesn’t say much about the Israelites that’s particularly positive. They just follow the flow and the show. Really, though, that’s often the way we are, too.
After the show, it appears that the Israelites are all on God’s side, even Ahab…except that really isn’t the case. Ahab runs home to his wife, who promptly threatens Elijah.
The drought is over. Things are looking up. So, let’s kill that guy!
No thanks or gratitude. No real recognition that God was in this. From Jezebel’s response she is both an enemy of God and is more about her power than even her husband’s (who power she really is supplanting).
Nothing really changed. After that, nothing really changed.
We tell this tale. We are excited for the good guy (Elijah and God). Yet, nothing really changed.
What should give us hope and courage, however, is that even Elijah got scared. That huge public event where God shows up…and Elijah runs away.
Yes, Elijah was threatened. Yet, God had just shown up in such a huge way…and Elijah runs away.
Many people have had a defining experience with God and then “run away”. Or, they may have a powerful healing or action and then appear to not believe that God is capable of the next thing. It is a pretty normal human behavior.
Elijah was normal. He heard from God and he spoke through the Holy Spirit. He was still normal.
You’re normal, too. You were called by God. You were claimed by God. You just may be in a difficult place. You could be wondering if God even cares.
Yes, we are weak. Yes, we are normal. Yes, God loves us.
Many people think they would want to have such a powerful experience of God as Elijah did. Through it all, Elijah still feared. Through it all, God still loved him…just as God loves you.