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Elijah on Mount Horeb

Scripture Passage: 
1 Kings 19:1-21

Elijah had just enjoyed one of the greatest victories in the Bible record. He follows it up with a great defeat. We must learn of our vulnerability at such times and prepare for the battle after the victory.

  1. THE TRIAL OF FAITH (1 Kings 19:1-4; see 1 Peter 1:6-7)
    1. The Threats of Jezebel (1 Kings 19:1-2)
      1. Jezebel received the news of the slain prophets (1 Kings 19:1).
      2. Jezebel promised to take the life of Elijah (1 Kings 19:2).
        1. She sent a messenger to deliver the message to Elijah.
        2. She swore on her gods.
        3. She promised to make Elijah like the slain prophets.
        4. She promised to do it by tomorrow about this time.
    2. The Flight of Elijah (1 Kings 19:3-4)
      1. He fled for his life (1 Kings 19:3).
      2. He came to Beersheba and left his servant there (he was going south) (1 Kings 19:3).
      3. He went a day’s journey into the wilderness (1 Kings 19:4).
  2. THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR (1 Kings 19:4-10)
    1. Elijah’s Wish to Die (1 Kings 19:4)
      1. Elijah found a hiding place.
        1. A day’s journey into the wilderness
        2. He sat down under a juniper tree.
      2. Elijah asked that his life might end.
      3. NOTE: At least seven men in the Bible at one time wished to die; Paul was the only one who was not feeling sorry for himself at the time.
        1. Job (Job 3:3-11)
        2. Moses (Numbers 11:15)
        3. Solomon (Ecclesiastes 2:17)
        4. Elijah (1 Kings 19:4)
        5. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:14-18)
        6. Jonah (Jonah 4:3, 8)
        7. Paul (Philippians 1:21-24)
    2. Elijah’s Attempt to Quit (1 Kings 19:5-8)
      1. The awakening by the angel (1 Kings 19:5)
      2. The meal provided by the angel (1 Kings 19:6)
        1. A cake
        2. A cruse of water
      3. The second meal provided by the angel (1 Kings 19:7)
      4. The commission of Elijah (1 Kings 19:8)
        1. He went in the strength of the meat of the Lord.
        2. He went for forty days and forty nights (a number which deals with times of testing).
        3. He went to Mount Horeb; another name for Mount Sinai (Exodus 3:1, 12; Malachi 4:4).
    3. Elijah’s Complaint to God (1 Kings 19:9-10)
      1. Elijah lodged in a cave (1 Kings 19:9).
      2. God asked him, What doest thou here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:9)
        1. The word of the Lord came to him.
        2. God seemed to be asking Elijah how he got to this place in his ministry. This is a good question for all of us at times in our lives.
        3. God repeated this question in 1 Kings 19:13.
      3. Elijah declared his situation (1 Kings 19:10).
        1. He had been very jealous for the Lord.
        2. Israel had forsaken God’s covenant.
        3. Israel had thrown down God’s altars.
        4. Israel had slain God’s prophets with the sword.
        5. Elijah was the only faithful prophet remaining.
        6. Now they sought to take his life.
  3. THE VOICE OF GOD (1 Kings 19:11-18)
    1. Elijah’s Invitation (1 Kings 19:11)
      1. The Lord told Elijah to go stand upon the mount.
      2. The LORD passed by.
      3. Note: The Lord was speaking to Elijah and yet told him to go stand “before the LORD.” It is quite possible this is another reference to the distinctive existence of God the Father and God the Son.
    2. A Display of Power (1 Kings 19:11-12)
      1. A great strong wind (1 Kings 19:11)
        1. It rent the mountains.
        2. It brake in pieces the rocks.
      2. An earthquake (1 Kings 19:11)
      3. A fire (1 Kings 19:12)
      4. But God was not in any of them.
    3. A Still Small Voice (1 Kings 19:12-13)
      1. It came after the displays of power (1 Kings 19:12).
      2. It called Elijah out of his cave (1 Kings 19:13).
      3. It asked him what he was doing here (1 Kings 19:13).
    4. A Renewed Commission (1 Kings 19:14-17)
      1. Elijah held to his defeated attitude (1 Kings 19:14).
      2. God seemed to avoid responding to Elijah’s answer (1 Kings 19:15).
      3. God wanted him to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria (1 Kings 19:15).
      4. God wanted him to anoint Jehu to be king over Israel (1 Kings 19:16).
      5. God wanted him to anoint Elisha to be prophet (1 Kings 19:16).
      6. To give victory over the house of Ahab (1 Kings 19:17)
        1. By Hazael
        2. By Jehu
        3. By Elisha
      7. NOTE: Elijah continued to minister, but his role is diminished. It seems that he lost the confidence of God. We should be careful not to refuse to serve God in the role in which He has placed us.
    5. A Revealed Remnant (1 Kings 19:18) – 7,000 that have not bowed to Baal
  4. THE CALL OF ELISHA (1 Kings 19:19-21)
    1. Elijah Found Elisha (1 Kings 19:19).
      1. He was plowing with oxen; Note: God calls busy men.
      2. He was plowing with the twelfth oxen.
      3. Elijah cast his mantle on him.
    2. Elisha Followed Elijah (1 Kings 19:20-21).
      1. He requested to go back to kiss his parents (1 Kings 19:20).
      2. He slew a yoke of oxen and served a feast (1 Kings 19:21); he cut off the ties to his old life.
      3. He went after Elijah; he ministered unto him (1 Kings 19:21; 2 Kings 3:11).

Elijah was a man of extremes. He had great victories, but often followed those with great failures. Yet, God used Elijah in spite of his inconsistencies.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 27:18

Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.