Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Fri, 04/12/2009 – 14:09
Bible Book: 1 Kings / 1 Konings
Chapter: 19
Verse: 1 – 18
Text: 1 Kings 19:1-18

It is easy to criticise. Especially when it seems that your criticism corresponds with the criticism of God.

It is true that God’s words towards Elijah in verses 9 and 13 (“What are you doing here, Elijah?”) as well as in verses 15 – 18 seem strict, but do these words give us permission to come down on Elijah with criticism? A number of the comments I have read about this story include some serious critique on the way Elijah reacted to Jezebel’s threat in verses 2 and 3, his lament in verse 4 as well as his complaint in verse 10.

The story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19 may not be a classical example of depression or exhaustion, but it reminds me of many people who have worked themselves to a point of exhaustion in serving the Lord. I have been privileged to meet a number of people who are involved in the AIDS pandemic in one way or another. SO many of them are really physically exhausted.

For the observer (from outside) it often seems so easy to change this situation. What about involving more people? What about caring for yourself? What about taking a break? But maybe they (who are already involved) know all that but they do not have the luxury of making these choices? Sometimes a crisis can be so overwhelming that you cannot sit down and relax “while your house is on fire”!

Whether we agree that “the house is on fire” or not, we need to seriously consider one question: What have we done to help?

God’s answer to Elijah in verses 15 – 18 underlines the understanding that it is not about one person (even of the stature of Elijah). God’s plans include Hazael, Elisha and seven thousand true Israelites.

To think about (or discuss): Is there someone I know that I can help in some practical way to rest for a while?

Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English