We’re in week 7 of 11 in our sermon series titled “Elijah: Ordinary Life, Extraordinary Call,” journeying through the life and ministry of one of God’s boldest prophets who lived and served during the days of the wicked king Ahab and his evil queen, Jezebel, who introduced idolatrous Baal worship into Israel. Elijah was called to be the defender of true worship, challenging the nation to turn back to the Lord. On Mountain Carmel (*wrong in audio) he defeated the prophets of Baal in a contest and was God’s instrument in proving that the LORD is indeed the true and only God. But, in surprising contrast, if you recall from Pastor Eddy’s sermon last week, after that momentous victory and spiritual high, Elijah sank into depression as he fled from Jezebel the threat of Jezebel and the obvious fact there would be no immediate revival in the land. He had enough, he was overtired, discouraged, and couldn’t get past his feelings of inadequacy and failure. Yet God fed him, God encouraged him to rest, and prepared Elijah for his next encounter with Him at Mount Sinai, known as the mountain of God. God restored Elijah both physically and mentally even as he ran away. This sermon looks at how God restores Elijah’s spiritual identity.
God restores us from doubt and discouragement through His word and commission.
9 There he (Elijah) came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
– 1 Kings 19:9-18