20 Sept. 1 Kings 19:1-18

20 Sept.  The LORD appears to Elijah

“King Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how Elijah had killed all the prophets with a sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘May the gods punish me terribly if by this time tomorrow I don’t kill you just as you killed those prophets.’”

“When Elijah heard this, he was afraid and ran for his life, taking his servant with him. When they came to Beersheba in Judah, Elijah left his servant there. Then Elijah walked for a whole day into the desert. He sat down under a bush and asked to die. ‘I have had enough, LORD,’ he prayed. ‘Let me die. I am no better than my ancestors.’ Then he lay down under the tree and slept.”

“Suddenly an angel came to him and touched him. ‘Get up and eat,’ the angel said. Elijah saw near his head a loaf baked over coals and a jar of water, so he ate and drank. Then he went back to sleep.”

“Later the LORD’s angel came to him a second time. The angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat. If you don’t, the journey will be too hard for you.’ So Elijah got up and ate and drank. The food made him strong enough to walk for 40 days and nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There Elijah went into a cave and stayed all night.”

“Then the LORD spoke his word to him: ‘Elijah! Why are you here?’ He answered, ‘Lord God All-powerful, I have always served you as well as I could. But the people of Israel have broken their agreement with you, destroyed your altars and killed your prophets with swords. I am the only prophet left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.’”

“The LORD said to Elijah, ‘Go, stand in front of me on the mountain, and I will pass by you.’ Then a very strong wind blew until it caused the mountains to fall apart and large rocks to break in front of the LORD. But the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.”

“After the fire, there was a quiet, gentle sound. When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his coat and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘Elijah! Why are you here?’”

“He answered, ‘LORD God All-powerful, I have always served you as well as I could. But the people of Israel have broken their agreement with you, destroyed your altars and killed your prophets with swords. I am the only prophet left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.’”

“The LORD said to him, ‘Go back on the road that leads to the desert around Damascus. Enter that city, and pour olive oil on Hazael to make him king over Aram. Then pour oil on Jehu son of Nimshi to make him king over Israel. Next, pour oil on Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to make him a prophet in your place.’”

“’Jehu will kill anyone who escapes from Hazael’s sword, and Elisha will kill anyone who escapes from Jehu’s sword. I have 7,000 people left in Israel who have never bowed down before Baal and whose mouths have never kissed his idol.’”

          (1 Kings 19:1-18)

 

 

After the killing of the prophets of Baal, Jezebel sought revenge and threatened to kill Elijah. Elijah promptly fled with his servant to Beersheba (see 11 on the map on 15 September).

From Beersheeba, Elijah walked into the desert and prayed that he might die. But God heard his prayer, and an angel sustained Elijah with food and water so he could walk forty days across the desert to Mt Sinai.

The LORD appeared to Elijah on the top of Mt Sinai - at the same spot where God had met with Moses nearly six hundred years earlier in c.1452BC (see Exodus 20:1-26).

God appeared to Elijah not in a strong wind, not in an earthquake or a fire; but he spoke to Elijah in a quiet, gentle voice.

Elijah was told to return to Damascus where he was to stir up opposition to King Ben-Haddad of Aram and the godless King Ahab of Israel (see 13 on the map). Elijah was to tell the King of Aram’s servant Hazael that he would succeed his master as king, and he was to anoint Jehu with oil to show that he would become King of Israel.

Elijah was also told to anoint Elisha of Abel Meholah who was to succeed him as the LORD’s prophet.

The photo (by Ian Sewell) shows Mount Sinai where the LORD appeared to Moses and Elijah.

You can read more about Damascus and the Kingdom of Aram @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/32-the-divided-kingdom-amp-journey-into-exile/elijah-organises-the-opposition-to-king-ahab/


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