My Elijah Moment

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There is a character in the bible named Elijah. He was a prophet of God and he was a great servant. There is a woman named Jezebel, who Elijah has a run-in with to put it very mildly. She is angry because Elijah has proven her belief system wrong. So she tells Elijah, after he’d had this fantastic battle in which he proved victorious:

1Kings 19: 1 Now 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.”

So Elijah has just proved that his God was bigger than his circumstances, he conquers very matter-of-factly, and then along comes Jezebel, a woman no less, and he freaks out and runs for the desert. He even tells the Lord he’s had enough and asks God to take his life.

Now, I didn’t ask God to take my life but I did question what I was doing. It came about this way:

Having a conversation with our kids around the dinner table, I said living together without the benefit of marriage was wrong. One child said, “But you and dad are the only ones who believe that. Seriously, you two are the only ones.” I said smugly, “No, we go to a church full of people who believe that.” They answered clearly, “You think that, but it’s not true. They say they believe that but they don’t. Seriously, you and dad are the only ones.” Have you ever heard someone’s interpretation of facts and thought they might have a point? I felt flat and defeated. What did it matter if we stood for truth, if we stood alone? Would it not be better to concentrate effort on something productive? What were some in the faith showing my kids? What was I showing them? I’m not perfect or always doing the right thing either.

Then I was reminded of the end of this portion of this story when God shows up and says after a dramatic show of who God is, get up, go back and keep standing. There are seven thousand people just like you and you haven’t seen anything yet.

1 Kings 19:14 He (*Elijah) replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken 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.” 15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel–all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” *My insertion for clarification.

So it’s all good. There are those who believe what God says is for our benefit and we’ll stand together and our children will one day see that even though we weren’t part of the “in” crowd we stood for what we believe. There are people getting discipled and baptized in our church, just yesterday there were seven people who were baptized, two baby dedications. Not everyone has bowed. Yes, there are those who profess Christ and live differently, bowing and kissing the gods of the world, but that is their account to give not mine. I am to get up and go!

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