by Pastor Ruth Denboer
Sometimes I have to admit I am completely daunted by the stories of absolute faith that I read in the Bible. However, I was again intrigued by the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18. What a powerful display of absolute faith in God we see in chapter 18! I can’t imagine standing in front of all the people of Israel and the prophets and doing what Elijah did. I read more than a little confident … almost to the point of being arrogant. I ask myself, “Would I have anywhere near that level of confidence in declaring my absolute faith in the God I love and serve?”
And then I read chapter 19. I see a completely different picture. I see a frightened Elijah running for his life. Following Elijah’s impressive display of calling down fire from heaven you would think that he’d be set for life as an amazing man of faith. His faith level must have increased tremendously through that adventure and you would think he’d have quite the following after that event. However, when King Ahab tells his wife Jezebel what ‘Elijah had done’ … (missed the point that it was God), Jezebel then sends a threat to Elijah telling him that she will kill him like he killed the prophets of Baal.
Elijah went from man of incredible faith to man of seemingly no faith, running for his life. I find this so true to human nature. When we display great faith in God for any reason we would be wise to remember that we are only strong and powerful in HIM. Without HIM we are no better than anyone in the world around us. God did not forsake Elijah in his weakness, instead graciously poured out provision and comfort to him. And although Elijah asked to have his life ended there and then … God is greater than our hearts, merciful in not taking us at our word and granting our foolish passionate requests.
We serve a great and loving God who understands our human weaknesses … and loves us anyway!