When depression strikes God’s servant: The days of Elijah

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Life now a days is nearing to its final phase. BIBLE PROPHECY IS NOW BEING FULFILLED AT LIGHTNING SPEED! The list of end times prophecies in the Bible, are either COMING TO PASS or we are watching as THE STAGE IS BEING SET. Yet, it has all been a puzzle to most…and why is that? For some the present catastrophe are a puzzle need to be solve, by clinging to what was offered to them without discerning the truth. They only see what they believe they are seeing and heard of, after all, you are not supposed to see the big picture. You are only told to do as you are told. This is the puzzle picture made up of lies and deception that shaken anyone even GOD’S CHILDREN. These brought chaos, fear and even depression to them. Haven’t you wonder why evil people keep on puzzling your life? Why Christians and God’s children are battling with so much depression now a days?

The life of prophet Elijah is an amazing example of a faithful servant, whose life was in a turmoil while in active service with God. Elijah was, according to the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a miracle worker who lived in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Ahab (9th century BCE). In 1 Kings 18, Elijah defended the worship of the Hebrew God over that of the Canaanite deity Baal. King Omri achieved domestic security with a marriage alliance between his son Ahab and princess Jezebel, a worshipper of Baal and the daughter of the king of Sidon in Phoenicia. These solutions brought security and economic prosperity to Israel for a time,but did not bring peace with the Israelite prophets Wikipedia.

The faithful servant Elijah embodied how it was like to be God’s servant in the midst of a powerful controlling establishments. How to stand your ground in order not to be deceived by the triggering demands and intimidating forces of the enemy! Elijah came in a time where evil kings reign and made their systems anchored down through the family lineage of Ahab and Jezebel. The situation where this lonesome servant must faced fully by all means which caused him emotionally drained and being depressed. The following factors enveloped his life and could even be your pace in this present life as well:

1. THE ENEMY IN CLEAR POSITION and POWER:

“And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah above all that were before him. And Ahab made the Asherah; and Ahab did yet more to provoke Jehovah, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” 1 Kings 16:29-30, 33 ASV

Elijah was called to fight the visible, establishment and powerful evil enemy. In clear governing position in which their rule is full of forceful evil mandates. For even as the foreign wives of Solomon led to his spiritual downfall, so Ahab’s foreign wife Jezebel led him and the nation into deep idolatry. Ahab built a temple for Baal, and his wife Jezebel brought a large entourage of priests and prophets of Baal and Asherah into the country. Yet Omri and Ahab were far worse in that they COMMANDED the worship of idols. “He made statutes in favour of idolatry, and obliged the people by law to commit it. See Micah 6:16, where this seems to be intended: For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab” (Clarke). In this present battle; you are called to be an Elijah, who’s brave to defend your God. In this end times generation, the enemy had already established their evil system. It’s very huge and visible for a Spirit filled Christian to see but hidden for a dumb, controlled and fake Christ follower.

Elijah has to be brave to convinced the people to worship back to God and so he challenged Jezebel and the worshippers of Baal for a “Battle of Offerings to a Powerful God”. Not a single one among the people answered him to follow Jehovah, or is it because they were afraid to be identified? He was the only one left in the side of God Jehovah, surrounded by all those intimidating, provoking, fearful and wicked crowd. We know how it ended, how God Jehovah powerfully answered the prayer of Elijah and made all the people bow down and caused death to the wicked.

“So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came near unto all the people, and said, How long go ye limping between the two sides? if Jehovah be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, am left a prophet of Jehovah; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. And call ye on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of Jehovah; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.” 1 Kings 18:20-22, 24 ASV

2. THE OCCURRENCE OF SEVERE CATASTROPHE:

“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the sojourners of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As Jehovah, the God of Israel, liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.” 1 Kings 17:1, 7 ASV

Elijah’s battle were not just limited to human encounter but even calamities strike his lonesome path. A severe drought occurred that would test his faith and endurance. Now a days the world embodies an engineered calamities which is so devastating to humans and animals. This time the severity goes with the motives of the heart in implementing their very goals of destructions and control. In spite of their cruelty most people still same as time of Elijah so much spell bound by the evil prophets of Baal. God’s provision to Elijah abounds even more while he was in brook Cherith; He provided him with food and water. He even touched a widow’s heart to help sustained the food Elijah needed. Though you are hard pressed by a huge evil manipulations God is faithful to keep you under His care. Do not be shaken how the calamities, collapse economy and the future’s safety been used to reset the world to the beastly kingdom. Because how God covered Elijah under His wings of love so as He will do it to all of His faithful servants.

3. ALONE, EXHAUSTED, DEPRESSED, THREATENED LIFE:

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper-tree: and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is enough; now, O Jehovah, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And he lay down and slept under a juniper-tree; and, behold, an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 1 Kings 19:4-5, 14 ASV

Fighting alone could weaken the physical acquired strength. Elijah saw the huge battle he had into and it endangered his very own life. Jezebel and all these evil powered people threatened his life and caused to weaken him emotionally. Elijah journeyed into the wilderness, for forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and take shelter there. Elijah is the only person described in the Bible as returning to Mt. Horeb, after Moses and his generation had left Horeb several centuries before. Alone, exhausted and depressed! The good thing was he take refuge in the presence of God. Letting God know his inner plea: “O Jehovah, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. For the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword: and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” Elijah probably thought that the miracle at Carmel would have been the means of effecting the conversion of the whole court and of the country, but, finding himself mistaken, he is greatly discouraged.” (Clarke Bible commentary). The emotional disturbances in him enables him to flee from the wicked Jezebel.

In this puzzling, chaotic present life; anyone and anything will be used to destroy you. Being in the good side is not that easy and even staying true to it will cause your life. Perilous times are here, and the evil will reign for just a little while. It’s normal to cry out to your God, but never find refuge to your deceitful enemy. Weakening your inner emotional strength is the great weapon used by the enemy. Know where to find the real strength to keep you going. Be like Elijah finding strength in the holy presence of God.

GOD’S PROVISIONS and REWARDS:

1. EMPOWERING ELIJAH: “and the hand of Jehovah was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” 1 Kings 18:46 ASV

This has been a great and rare provision given by God to a chosen servant. Elijah hereupon hastened Ahab home, Ahab rode in his chariot, at ease and in state, v. 45. Elijah ran on foot before him and reach the entrance of Jezreel ahead of Ahab. If Ahab had paid the respect to Elijah that he deserved he would have taken him into his chariot, as the eunuch did to Philip, that he might honour him before the elders of Israel, and confer with him further about the reformation of the kingdom. But his corruptions got the better of his convictions. Since Ahab invites him not to ride with him, God empowered Elijah to endure the running and “he will run before him” (v. 46) as one of his footmen, that he may not seem to be lifted up with the great honour God had put upon him or to abate in his civil respect to his prince, though he reproved him faithfully. God’s ministers should make it appear that, how great soever they look when they deliver God’s message, yet they are far from affecting worldly grandeur: let them leave that to the kings of the earth. (Matthew Henry Commentary)

2. THE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL RESTORATION:

Jezebel heard about all that Elijah had done, encompassing the great confrontation at Mount Carmel. Yet her response was not to say, “The silence of Baal and the fire from Yahweh proves that I am wrong and Yahweh is God.” Instead, she responded with a vow to kill within 24 hours the man who exposed the lie of Baal worship and displayed the glory of Yahweh. Elijah arose and ran for his life, and went to a distant city of Beersheba secluded in a cave. Elijah’s sorrow calls: It is enough! We sense that Elijah meant, “I can’t do this anymore, LORD.” The work was stressful, exhausting, and seemed to accomplish nothing. The great work on Mount Carmel did not result in a lasting national revival or return to the LORD. ( Bible commentary David Guzik).

And he prayed that he might die: This mighty man of prayer — mighty enough to make the rain and the dew stop for three and a half years, and then mighty enough to make it start again at his prayer — now he prayed that he might die. God answered his prayer with a blessed NO! This time to receive a NO answer from God can be better than receiving a YES answer. So he ate and drank, and lay down again: Elijah received this rest and replenishment repeatedly from the LORD. This was the mercy of God extended to Elijah. Physically speaking, he needed rest and replenishment. God gave him rest under a broom tree, and provided miraculous food for the replenishment, God first ministered to Elijah’s physical needs. Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you: God set Elijah on a 200-mile, 40-day trip to Mount Horeb, also known as Mount Sinai. This shows that God did not demand an immediate recovery from Elijah. He allowed the prophet time to recover from his physical, emotional and spiritual depression.

“The spirit needs to be fed, and the body needs feeding also. Do not forget these matters; it may seem to some people that I ought not to mention such small things as food and rest, but these may be the very first elements in really helping a poor depressed servant of God.” (Spurgeon)

3. THE ASSURANCE OF GOD’S SMALL VOICE:

And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” God knew the answer to this question, but it was good for Elijah to speak to the LORD freely and to unburden his heart. Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD: God knew what the depressed and discouraged Elijah needed. He needed a PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH GOD!

(1 Kings 19:11-12) God reveals Himself to Elijah…

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

Behold, the LORD passed by: God brought His presence before Elijah, but first, to show where HE WAS NOT. The LORD was not in the wind; He was not in the earthquake; He was not in the fire. Like many others, Elijah probably only looked for God in dramatic manifestations, splendor, powerful occurrences. Certainly, God sometimes appears in such ways, but He often appears in less dramatic surroundings, a barely heard whisper of voices. God actually met Elijah in the quiet whisper of a voice, instead of the earth-shaking phenomenon that had gone before. Wiseman called the “still small voice” a GENTLE WHISPER. The still small voice of God speaking to the human heart is actually more powerful than outward displays of power or displays of God’s judgment.

4. A CHARIOT RIDE AND A BLESSED LEGACY:

This mighty man of prayer, was in depression “prayed that he might die”, but God caused the opposite to happened, he was one of the few men in the Bible to NEVER DIE! We can imagine that as he was caught up into heaven, he smiled and thought of this prayer — and the blessed no that answered his prayer. The work of Elijah was stressful, exhausting, and seemed to accomplish nothing. The great work on Mount Carmel did not result in a lasting national revival or return of the people to the LORD. Elijah had especially hoped that the events on Mount Carmel would turn around Ahab and Jezebel and the leadership of the establishment in general. If so, Elijah forgot that people reject God despite the evidence, not because of the evidence, their heart was calloused, controlled and corrupted!

“… for the Lord had more blessings in store for him… It was so with Elijah, for he was to have that wonderful revelation of God on Mount Horeb. He had more to enjoy, and the later life of Elijah appears to have been one of calm communion with his God; he seems never to have had another fainting fit, but to the end his sun shone brightly without a cloud. So it was not enough; how could he know that it was? It is God alone who knows when we have done enough, and enjoyed enough; but we do not know.” (Spurgeon)

“And it came to pass, when Jehovah would take up Elijah by a whirlwind into heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” 2 Kings 2:1, 11 ASV

What a convoy the Lord sent for Elijah – a chariot of fire and horses of fire, which appeared either descending upon them from the clouds. Elijah is carried up to heaven in a fiery chariot, v. 11. Like Enoch, he was translated, that he should not see death. A once depressed servant longing for death , but God never let him experience what he longs in his depression. Elijah being carried by this heavenly guard was visible, not in a human shape, carried him as an eagles’ wings, but that would have been to carry him like a child, like a lamp (Isa. 40:11, 31); they appear in the form of a chariot and horses, that he may ride in state, may ride in TRIUMPH, like a PRINCE, like a CONQUEROR, yea, MORE THAN A CONQUEROR. He went up by a whirlwind into heaven. The fire tends upward; the whirlwind helped to carry him through the atmosphere, out of the reach of the virtue of this earth. What a marvelous sight it was! God really knows how to reward and comfort His own weary faithful servant.

“And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I am taken from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof! And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of the Jordan.” 2 Kings 2:9, 12-13 ASV

Not only that Elijah was privileged for a chariot ride to heaven ,( remember how Ahab forsaken him to ride his chariot); but Elijah made a great legacy, he was a blessing to his followers as well. When Elijah went to heaven, he did not let fall his body; he let fall his mantle instead of it; for he was unclothed, that he might be clothed upon with immortality: he was going to a world where he needed not the mantle to adorn him, nor to shelter him from the weather, nor to wrap his face in, as 1 Ki. 19:13. He left his mantle as a legacy to Elisha. Elijah makes his will, and leaves Elisha his heir, now anointing him to be a prophet when he cast his mantle upon him, 1 Ki. 19:19. Elisha, having this fair opportunity to enrich himself with the best riches, prays for a double portion of his spirit. He asks not for wealth, nor honour, nor exemption from trouble, but to be qualified for the service of God and his generation. (Matthew Henry Commentary.)

THE GOD OF ELIJAH:

Elijah portrayed the reality of a servant’s life. The God of Elijah is completely at work and never changes. The tasks of Elijah convey an epitome of success and self struggles, of reward and punishment, the battle of good and evil in the emotion of a servant. How faith and prayer triumph when one just find refuge in the presence of God the moment depression strikes. A kind of service which was truly been acknowledge and rewarded by God . Let us all be like Elisha desiring a “Double Portion of Elijah’s Spirit”; for us to cross the river Jordan of our lives, for us to have confidents and becoming worthy humble servants of the Most High God. Do not be afraid and intimidated to how huge the establishments and powerful the beast systems in this world. Life at this present generation may seems so hard, unjust and unkind to you as being one of a lonesome faithful servant but never a thing misses from the All Knowing… Powerful God of Elijah and Your God! A Wondrous Heavenly Chariot Ride is waiting for one who will endure the appointed task! Keep upholding your calling! SERVE THE ONE AND ONLY GOD JEHOVAH!

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! The voice of thy watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when Jehovah returneth to Zion.”Isaiah 52:7-8 ASV

“And all the angels were standing round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,” Revelation 7:11 ASV

Watch and be inspired by the “Days of Elijah” , music video:

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