This verse is very appropriate for our world today. Wickedness is on the rise like the tide of the ocean. High tide is coming! But we won’t be washed away.
Father forgive me. I’m so distracted now. I need Your help to focus. Too many things going on around me. You deserve nothing less than my full attention. Please lead me where You would have me go in our time together.
As I started to lament about the state of our world and the evil that seems to be everywhere, I was reminded of Elijah calling out to God about this same issue. This happened after one of the most memorable miracles of his time. It follows the story of the battle between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The story of the contest can be found in 1 Kings 18:1-40. Elijah then prays for God to bring rain to end the drought that had lasted into its third year. We see this in 1 Kings 18:41-46. The whole chapter describes not one, but TWO amazing miracles in the span of a day.
Elijah was on a high! He saw the tide of evil retreating with the death of Jezebel’s prophets.
Everyone who had come to witness the contest helped rid the world of her prophets and rejoiced at the miracles they had seen. I’m pretty sure that when Ahab was telling Jezebel about the day’s events he wasn’t complaining. He was probably gob smacked and couldn’t wait to share. That’s NOT how Jezebel felt after hearing the tale. She wanted Elijah DEAD!
The tide shifted again, right out from under Elijah’s feet.
Now we come to the part I was reminded of. We find it in 1 Kings 19:1-18. The part where Elijah hears Jezebel’s threats, and runs away, just as our proverb tells us, because wicked Jezebel was rising up against him. Elijah didn’t stop there. He went out into the desert alone and asked God to let him die. Then he laid down and waited for it to happen; he went to sleep
God didn’t cooperate. Instead, He fed Elijah twice, and sent him on a LONG journey. Elijah’s soul was not comforted by the sleep, the food, the company of the angel who told him to eat, or the long walk. He was still distraught over his circumstances. I fully believe he mulled over his situation during his journey. “No one is listening to You any more God. I’m DONE! Let me Out!”
Yet, Elijah walked on. He didn’t stop until he reached his destination. We aren’t told why he went to this specific place. Did he just keep going until something within him told him to stop? This reminds me of the movie Forest Gump where “for no particular reason” he started running and “for no particular reason” he stopped. He “just felt like running” until he didn’t any more.
I would say Elijah’s “particular reason” was the Spirit of the Lord directing him. But even that didn’t bring him out of his funk and he wound up again in a place of hiding; a cave. God decides to confront Elijah. “Elijah, why are you here?” (1 Kings 19:9b).
Instead of saying, “I’m here because Your Spirit compelled me to come to this place”, he laid out his complaints against Israel. He pulled no punches. He was TIRED of ‘going it alone’. He ended his litany of complaints with, “There’s no one left but me and NOW they want to kill me too! THAT’S why I’m in hiding.”
God takes a deep breath then tells Elijah to ‘watch closely’ for Him. A wind so fierce that it breaks chunks off the mountain rages. Elijah waits. An earth quake shakes the mountain. A fire erupts on the mountain. ALL these things happened and Elijah still stayed in his cave. Finally, God speaks in a quiet, gentle voice. Elijah KNOWS this voice for he has heard it MANY times before. He covers his face and steps out to speak with the Lord again. And again, the Lord asks, “Elijah, why are you here?” (1 Kings 19:13b).
At this point I would be falling on my face in awe of my Creator. Not Elijah. Instead of saying, “I don’t know. Why did You bring me here?” he lays out his SAME complaints and accusations.
God, in my opinion, began preparing the way for Elijah’s ‘death’ with His next instructions. And THEN He told Elijah that there were 7,000 people in Israel who were still faithful. In Elijah’s new instructions were preparations for the tide to shift again. Hazel, Jehu and Elisha would be chasing that tide; be removing the most evil king and queen from Israel. The 7,000 would be able to increase and rise up again.
My point is, even if I were to believe that this world had moved so far into the camp of evil, God STILL has those who will stand for Him. There will come a time, and may already have come in some areas, where those who love the Lord will have to ‘hide’ from physical danger but you CANNOT hide the presence of God. TRUST God, even when the tide looks like it is going to drown you. God has not and will not leave us alone in this battle. He walks with us and He has others whom He has appointed to walk by our side too. There is NO struggle in which we walk alone!
Father God, THANK YOU that I DON’T walk alone. You are ALWAYS with me. You give me supports that I forget to even notice or lean on. Even when the wicked rise, YOU protect me. Even when my responsibilities seem more than I can handle, You show me Your strength in the middle of them. You give me the courage to go on. Just as You strengthened Elijah for his journey, You strengthen me for mine. THANK YOU FATHER! Let me rest in it now; even though I thought I was finished, only to be pulled back in to start again. I KNOW You will see me to completion of all that is before me.