“And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done” (1 Kings 19:1).
This nearly crushes Elijah. He was able to bear up under the reproach of praying for a three year drought. You don’t think someone who publicly storms into the kings presence and promises, “As the Lord God of Israel live the, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these three years, but according to my word”—you don’t think he would not bear some reproach from the widow’s neighbors in Zarephath (1 Kings 17:1)?
Elijah stood before four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and bravely invoked the power of the living God upon the sacrifice. Elijah labored in prayer to reverse the current drought. He out ran Ahab’s chariot down Mt. Carmel. The final verse in 1 Kings 18 is the crescendo of recent events, “The hand of the Lord was on Elijah” (1 Kings 18:46).
The only person who could shake Elijah was Jezebel. He hears she seeks his life, so he packs up and runs for his life as far away as he could. He begs God to take his life before he falls into the hands of his enemy. Then Elijah begins to spill what is truly disturbing him.
The Lord asks, “What doesn’t thou here, Elijah” (1 Kings 19:9)? Not the most dangerous word in Elijah’s response. “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10).
Over the next several verses, the Lord attempts to illustrate an important truth for Elijah. There is a tornado like windstorm, an earthquake, and a fire. Each time “the Lord was not in” these things. Then the still small voice and Elijah covers his face and enters into the presence of God. Then the Lord repeats his question to Elijah. Obviously, Elijah was supposed to have a different answer after the 4-D theatrical presentation. Sadly, he says the same thing.
Elijah was a victim of “I-only-ism.” He expected God to be working sensationally. This was the fervency he had been locked into as he was on Mt. Carmel. However, God was not in the sensational. He was in the still small voice.
Maybe you feel like you are the only one in your family who loves God. Maybe you feel alone in your fervency for God like Elijah. Don’t catch “I-only-itis.” God is always working even when you cannot see the sensational power display.
Like an intermittent stream, God’s work can be easily seen at times, but then it runs underground. Our inability to see His movement does not prove He is inactive. What Elijah had to remember, and what we have to remember, is this—The hand of the Lord is with you.