What is your favorite Bible story of the Old Testament? I have more than I could count, but one I am particularly fond of is found in 1 Kings 18. It is the story of Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal. Elijah went to King Ahaz, knowing King Ahaz was looking for him to kill him. Elijah didn’t have a death wish per say; he was simply being obedient to the Lord. God told him to go to King Elijah and deliver a message, so Elijah went.
Unwavering obedience is impressive enough in and of itself, but unwavering obedience in the face of death is beyond impressive.
Elijah not only sought out King Ahaz, but he reprimanded the king because he worshipped Baal instead of Yahweh. Elijah told the king to summon the 450 prophets of Baal and all of Israel and meet him on Mount Carmel. Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal with Israel watching. In verse 24 he said, “Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—He is God.”
As the story goes, not only does Baal not show up at all (how could he since he is a false god), but God shows up in spades and blows the minds of all the people of Israel causing them to fall face down and praise God (vs. 39).
If you keep reading, in chapter 19 Elijah runs and hides because King Ahaz’s wife, Jezebel, threatens to kill Elijah. What? Are you kidding me? Just one chapter prior he walked up to King Ahaz who had put out a hit on his life and he never waivered, then God demonstrated His glory before all of Israel in answer to Elijah’s prayer so Elijah runs because Jezebel said she wanted him dead.
Does that make sense to you? We easily see the absurdity of Elijah’s actions, yet we do the same thing in our own lives, don’t we? God shows up in our lives over and over proving Himself faithful and true and yet when something frightens us or seems difficult, we cower [Revelation 19:11]. There is no disclaimer or addendum to “never leave you nor forsake you” [Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; and Joshua 1:5]. God promises to be with us, by our side, even in the hard stuff [Psalm 23:4].
Are you facing something difficult or frightening? Don’t run and hide under a tree like Elijah; run into the loving arms of your heavenly Father who is waiting for you. He knows what you’re facing and He knows how to see it through.