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STRENGTH FOR THE JOURNEY

| THURSDAY 5TH MAY, 2022

Our Daily Bread 2022 Annual Edition

By Amy Boucher Pye

Read: 1 Kings 19:1–9 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 19–20; Luke 23:1–25

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 1 Kings 19:5

One summer, I faced what seemed an impossible task—a big writing project with a looming deadline. Having spent day after day on my own, endeavoring to get the words onto the page, I felt exhausted and discouraged, and I wanted to give up. A wise friend asked me, “When’s the last time you felt refreshed? Maybe you need to allow yourself to rest and to enjoy a good meal.”

I knew immediately that she was right. Her advice made me think of Elijah and the terrifying message he received from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:2)—although, of course, my writing project wasn’t anywhere near the cosmic scale of the prophet’s experience. After Elijah triumphed over the false prophets on Mount Carmel, Jezebel sent word that she would capture and kill him, and he despaired, longing to die. But then he enjoyed a good sleep and was twice visited by an angel who gave him food to eat. After God renewed his physical strength, he was able to continue with his journey.

When the “journey is too much” for us (v. 7), we might need to rest and enjoy a healthy and satisfying meal. For when we are exhausted or hungry, we can easily succumb to disappointment or fear. But when God meets our physical needs through His resources, as much as possible in this fallen world, we can take the next step in serving Him.

Read: 1 Kings 19:1–9 (NIV)

Elijah Flees to Horeb

19 1Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 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.”

3 Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 

The Lord Appears to Elijah

There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 

INSIGHT

  1. Looking back, when have you needed to slow down and receive sustenance before pressing on?

  2. How can you look for signs of burnout as you serve God?

Following Israel’s dramatic return to the God of their fathers on Mount Carmel, Queen Jezebel’s threats against Elijah’s life (1 Kings 19:1–2) drove him to Mount Horeb (v. 8), where he encountered God. Horeb is also known as Mount Sinai—where Moses had encountered God many years before (Exodus 19). This is one of several connections between these two Old Testament giants, but those connections aren’t limited to the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses were united on another mountain—the Mount of Transfiguration—where they discussed with Jesus His coming departure from Jerusalem (Luke 9:28–31).

PRAYER

Creator God, You formed us as Your people. Thank You for our limitations, which remind us that You’re God and we’re not. Help us to serve You with gladness and joy. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!!

Read: 1 Kings 19:1–9 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 19–20; Luke 23:1–25

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