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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Elijah After Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel was the scene of Elijah's resounding victory over the priests of Baal. After the acceptance by fire of his sacrifice on the restored altar, he executed 450 of Jezebel's priests. Ahab returned home and shared the details of the challenge with Jezebel.

Jezebel's Threat and Elijah's Retreat

She sent a messenger to Elijah saying, "May the gods punish me and do so severely if I don't make your life like like one of them by this time tomorrow."

Elijah was struck with fear and ran for his life. He came to Beersheba and left his servant there, but he continued a day's journey into the wilderness.

Elijah's life had become very challenging and exciting. Now he was in hiding and fearful. He sat down under a Broom Tree and asked God to take his life.
Then he lay down under the broom tree and went to sleep. An angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." Elijah found bread baked on stones and a fire, and water to drink. After he ate and drank he lay down again and went back to sleep. The angel woke him again and told him to eat again because he had to go somewhere and the journey would be too much for him.

On the strength of that food he went to Horeb. It took him 40 days and nights. I hope he carried some of the bread and water with him. At Horeb he entered a cave and slept. The word of the Lord came to him and said "Elijah what are you doing here.?"
"I have been very diligent working for you. But the Israelites have abandoned you and killed your prophets. I am the only one left. Just kill me Lord." Sounds like a little kid who pouts, doesn't he?
God said "Go stand on the mountain." Elijah saw a mighty wind, and an earthquake, and a fire, But God was not in them. After this Elijah heard a soft whisper  in his ear, "What are you doing here:" Elijah repeated his pity party litany about Israel being unfaithful and begged God to take his life.

God told him to return by the way he came and anoint Hazael as king over Aram, and anoint Jehu king over Israel and Elisha as prophet in his place. And by the way, there are 7000 in Israel who have not bowed to other gods.

Elijah found Elisha plowing a team of oxen. He walked by and threw his mantle over him. Elisha ran after him and asked permission to bid farewell to his family, Elijah told him to go back. But instead of returning to his family, he killed the oxen and made a fire with the plow and cooked the meat and fed it to the others who were plowing. Then he followed Elijah.