On the heels of a great spiritual victory, Elijah found himself in deep despair. Because his life was threatened, he began to see God in light of his circumstances—not the other way around. In this sermon, Alistair Begg speaks to those who are tempted to a similar despair, reminding us that just as God sought out and restored Elijah, so He calls us to a renewed hope in Him.
1Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2Then 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.” 3Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
4But 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.” 5And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6And 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. 7And 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.” 8And 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.
9There 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?” 10He 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.” 11And 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. 12And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.1 13And 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?” 14He 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.” 15And 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. 16And 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. 17And 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. 18Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
What are the purposes of suffering and trials? Why does God allow them? Those around us might tell us that suffering is pointless, that we should ignore it or rise above it, or that karma is paying us back for a wrong we have committed. The Bible, though, gives a very different answer. Scripture clearly addresses suffering—both its presence and its purpose. (After all, no one suffered more than Christ, our Savior.) Its many examples of faithful men and women who encountered various trials demonstrate God’s hand at work throughout history and for His glory.
In this series, Alistair Begg address the difficulties and worries of life by turning our attention to God’s Word and His promises. We may be tempted to long for greener pastures, but amid life’s trials, God’s Word assures us that peace is found in Christ alone.
|Dealing with Stress|
|All The Lonely People||Mark 10:46-52|
|Casting All Your Cares||1 Peter 5:7|
|Down in the Valley||1 Kings 19:1-18|
|Jesus Calms the Storm||Mark 4:35-41|
|Suffering in the Believer's Life||Lamentations 2:20|
|If Anyone is Sick..., Part One||James 5:14-18|
|If Anyone is Sick..., Part Two||James 5:15|
|Making the Most of It||Genesis 39:1-7|
|Sweet Fruit from a Thorny Tree||2 Corinthians 1:1|
|So Do Not Fear||Isaiah 41:10|
|Celebrate Life!||Ecclesiastes 11:1-10|
|Sweet Fruit Revisited|