Vol. 8, No. 12
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"Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, 'How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him'" (1 Kings 18:21).
What a victory Elijah had over the prophets of Baal! The contest on Mt. Carmel revealed, without a doubt, that "The Lord indeed is God" (1 Kings 18:39), as he consumed the sacrifice Elijah offered. On the heels of victory, though, came discouragement, in the form of Jezebel. She was so upset over the death of her false prophets, she threatened to either kill Elijah or be killed in the process (1 Kings 19:2). Elijah was frightened and traveled for 40 days to escape her wrath. It was while he sought refuge in a cave at Horeb that God asked him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (19:9).
Good question. Elijah was to be God's spokesman to the people of Israel, not to scorpions and snakes in the desert. He was not where he needed to be. He needed to realize what God expected of him. He needed to realize how many people were still trying to live godly lives in ungodly Israel, and how they depended on his example (19:15-18). He needed to trust in the God who gave him victory, and to recognize the strength he provided. The question God asked was intended to get Elijah back where he belonged.
That question needs to be answered by us as well. Where are we in our lives, and what are we doing there? Are we hiding our faith in a cave and need to get back where God wants us, where we belong? God has given each of us a life to live, and he offers us help, strength and purpose to live it. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves this question so we might put ourselves where we belong--in God, his will, his salvation.