Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Death Threat and Desertion

O. T. #799  "Death Threat and Desertion"
July 26, 2016
1 Kings 19


God revealed Himself to be Supreme God Almighty as He devoured with fire Elijah's sacrifice, wooden altar, and water surrounding it in a trench. Then Elijah killed the 450 prophets of Baal, the false god and idol which Israel had previously worshiped. He prayed and God sent rain after 3 1/2 years.
When King Ahab reached home, what was the first thing he did but tell his wife, Jezebel, everything that Elijah had done, including killing the prophets of Baal.
How did Jezebel react? She sent a death threat to Elijah, saying, May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow if I have not killed you just as you killed them. (verse 2)

Jezebel's rejection of God's signs and the determined, defiant way in which she later face death (2 Kings 9:330-31) demonstrate her character as a person who did what she wanted, no matter the consequences. Sin breeds this self-destructive heedlessness. (Holman Illustrated Bible Commentary)

Did she not listen to what Elijah's God had done? Did she not realize that that same God who sent fire and rain could also take her life in order to protect His prophet? Was she challenging God? Why didn't she stop to think that the One who gave her life could also take her life?
Obviously, she did not know God since she was a foreigner who lived among the idol worshipers.


What does Elijah do after receiving Jezebel's death threat?
  • Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. (verse 3)
  • His focus was on the woman and not God's Word; he listened to threats instead of God's promises.
  • Some describe him as being exhausted physically and emotionally, fatigued and discouraged, despondent and in need of rest, weary and drained, a man of like passions as us and subject to like trials and failures as we  believers.
  • He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, about a day and a half away.
  • Elijah left his servant in Beersheba and he went alone into the wilderness, traveling all day.
  • He sat under a juniper (broom) tree, which was a desert shrub that could reach the height of 12 feet. 
  • Elijah had abandoned a nation in need of spiritual leadership and requested that he might die.

Why does he not pray to God before running away? We know his prayers got answered. For a moment, Elijah acted in fear rather than faith. He didn't run to God, but ran away. The queen had threatened to kill him, but God was not going to let that happen. Elijah had more to do in kingdom work.
However, we are going to leave Elijah sitting under his pitiful tree having a pity-party, with only one present.


Run to God instead of running away.


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