God is Kind to Self-Absorbed Crybabies (Like Me)

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is 1 Kings 19.  In general, I love when the Bible surprises me, especially when it reveals someone I’ve been taught to think of as a hero of faith (in this case, the prophet Elijah) as a self-absorbed crybaby.  Even better, 1 Kings 19 reveals that God responds to Elijah’s whining with compassion and kindness.  This is exactly the sort of message I so often need to hear.

Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.  So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” (1 Kings 19:1-2)

This story takes place right after the showdown on Mount Carmel.  You might remember the Sunday School story where Elijah goes toe to toe with the prophets of Baal to see whose God is stronger.  The prophets of Baal shout, dance, and cut themselves in an attempt to get Baal to burn the sacrifice they offer.  But Elijah, in an awesome display of confidence, dowses his sacrifice in water, mocks Baal, and watches God send fire from heaven to claim an easy victory.  Solid moment for Elijah.  You would think he would be riding high on faith after such a display of God’s power.  Continue reading