1 Kings 19:11-18
Then the Lord said to him, “Go and return by the way you came to the Wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, you are to anoint Hazael as king over Aram. You are to anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Then Jehu will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Jehu (1 Kings 19:15-17 CSB).
We have seen how Elijah fled from Jezebel to Mt. Horeb, fearful, faltering, and fatigued. He prayed to die. But God still had service for Elijah to do. He reaches out to his servants in their weakness. He renews and restores us. Let us see more about how the Lord brought this about in Elijah.
The Lord immediately reassigned Elijah to other work. Go … anoint…. God has the right to command us, and we are responsible to obey him. The purpose of human life is to live for the honor of God. One way we do this is by serving him. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God… (1 Thessalonians 1:9 NIV). We live among a people that are totally consumed with the desire to make ourselves individually happy. The Bible does not exalt the self; it exalts the living God. For example, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV; cf. also Jude 1:24-25).
God first revealed himself to his prophet; then he sent him (cf. Isaiah 6:5, 8-9). We must first know God before we can testify about him to others. Imagine this scene: “Elisha, God has anointed you as his prophet.” What if Elisha had replied, “That’s nice; who is God? Could you please tell me about him?” No, it didn’t happen that way. First you must know God, then you can serve him. When Elijah met Elisha, he knew that he wasn’t the only one left.
God continued to use Elijah (cf. 1 Kings 21:7; 2 Kings 1:3). Even though we may sin many times, God still can use us. He is the God of overflowing grace to his people. So that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:21 NASB).
A helpful example of this is Peter, to whom the Lord said, “feed my sheep … my lambs.” The ongoing experience of God’s grace should spur us on to serve him more fervently. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you (Psalm 51:13 ESV).
Elijah obeyed. See 19:19. So Elijah went. Persevering faith produced obedience. How did God restore Elijah? By sending Elijah on a new mission. Thank God he does not abandon us after we fail or fall. The promise is extremely sure: He will never, no absolutely never, leave us or forsake us. He gives more grace. Has God been gracious to you? His grace is given in Jesus Christ the Lord. You can only know God through his Son, Jesus Christ. Come to him today.
Grace and peace, David