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June 26, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Psalm 70-73
Audio: Psalm 70-73

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

1 Kings 19 (ESV)

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks 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. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.

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Next: 1 Kings 20

Back: 1 Kings 18

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. What Are You Doing Here?

    Today's chapter is quite different from the last chapter where Elijah defied Ahab and "all" the prophets of Baal. His boldness and confrontational style was well-documented and and even inspiring. Yet, in today's chapter, Elijah finds himself in turmoil and distress as he runs to escape Jezebel while wishing he was dead. 

    While Elijah was in anguish the Lord sent an angel to encourage him while he sat down under a broom tree (1 Kings 19:4-7). Then after traveling forty days and night to Horeb, the mount of God (1 Kings 19:8), the Lord Himself came to Elijah and asked in 1 Kings 19:9, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 

    What a penetrating question!

    We might be surprised to find someone like Elijah in this situation. But truth is, no one is above Christ. While Jesus didn't run and hide from turmoil and distress but "for the joy that was set before him endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2), He still experienced extreme anguish far beyond what anyone else has ever endured. 

    While it's true others were crucified by the Romans and experienced great torture and pain, Jesus bore the sins of the world on His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). As He was dying on the cross after nine hours, our Lord cried out to the Father in Matthew 27:46, "'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'"

    Jesus bore the wrath of God – so that you and I might be saved. Isaiah 53:7; 10-11 says of coming Messiah…

    "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
        he has put him to grief;
    when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
        he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
    the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
    11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
    by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
        make many to be accounted righteous,
        and he shall bear their iniquities."

    Have you been crushed?

    Have you been afflicted? 

    Charles Spurgeon writes, "When we get under the broom tree ourselves, we are glad to recall the fact that Elijah once sat there. And when we are hiding away in the cave, it is a source of comfort to us to remember that such a man as this great prophet of Israel was there before us. He, too, could grow weary of his appointed service and ask to be allowed to die. The best of people are but people at the best. He was one whose spirit could be depressed even to the uttermost, just as the spirit of any one of us might be. He failed, as all God’s people have done. I scarcely know of any exception in all the biographies of the Old or New Testament. It is some comfort to us when we see that we are not the only persons who have failed through the infirmity of the flesh. I do not hold up Elijah’s passions as any excuse for us to indulge them, but if any are almost driven to despair because such passions have overcome them, let them shake off that despair. Nobody doubts that Elijah was a child of God. God loved him even when he sat trembling under the broom tree."

    Spurgeon. (2017). The Spurgeon Study Bible: Notes (p. 458). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Are you running away from turmoil and distress?

    Are you hiding under a broom tree or in a cave? If so, dear friend, what are you doing here? What (or who) are you running from?

    Remember, nothing you're going through is beyond the reach of God's still, small voice. 

    Do you hear Him? Are you listening?

  2. I like to think that instead of hiding or running from something, that I am running to God. But I know that isn't always the case. 

    Being human, I do become afraid, worried and sometimes, exhausted. I know that there may be a great, long time left on this Earth filled with hard work and peaks and valleys. Sometimes just the thought of the things I know I will have to face makes me tired and overwhelmed. 

    But I also know that God will give me the strength and peace of mind to be able to run this race. I know that there will be times that I'll feel I just cannot go on, but yet I will. I would never be able to press on under my own steam, but with God's, that's a miraculously different story.

    I need to keep practicing patience in difficult situations, not becoming frustrated or angry, but remembering that God is sometimes testing me, and I need to use these times as learning experiences.   

    It is comforting to know that even prophets like Elijah had their moments. 

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