Elijah was one of the greatest prophets in all of Israel’s rich history. He, along with Enoch, was translated from earth to heaven without tasting death. In the New Testament he is referenced in relation to prayer. The passage is in the book of James. It concerns Elijah’s prayers for drought and then for rain during the time of Israel’s backsliding under the reign of Ahab and Jezebel. James says: “Elijah was as human as we are…” (James 5:17 NLT) Looking back to the Old Testament we can see come of those human qualities.
In the book of I Kings we read how Elijah stood boldly for God on Mt. Carmel; then suddenly became fearful of Jezebel and ran for his life. On Mt. Carmel, Elijah singlehandedly faced King Ahab and four hundred fifty false prophets of Baal. The short version of the story goes like this. An alter is built, an animal sacrifice is prepared and a challenge is issued. The God of Israel or Baal would meet the challenge by sending fire to consume the offering. Bottom line, God sends the fire and proves to be the one true God. The people of Israel fall on their faces and cry: “The Lord, He is God, The Lord, He is God.”
Very soon word of this reached Jezebel and she vowed to have Elijah killed before the next day came to an end. Hearing that word moved the recently bold prophet to such fear that he ran into the wilderness and hid. He became extremely depressed and prayed that he might die. During this time God called Elijah in a still, small voice. His words were: “Don’t despair, there is still work to be done.” He let the prophet know that Almighty God was fully in control.
Like the prophet, we too have ups and downs in life. We are all human just as James wrote. Whether we are on top of the mountain or in the wilderness of despair, listen for that still, small voice. God speaks and the message is the same. Do not despair, life goes on and God is in total control.