Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

header photo

The Power of the Word - Part 12

He had never felt this way before. Sure, he had had his ups and downs. There were times when he had felt sad for several days. Who wouldn’t feel sad at times with the messages he had to deliver to God’s people – messages that often went unheeded. But even during those sad times he could function. The depression that enveloped him now was like a thick, wet wool blanket over his head that weighed him down and made seeing very difficult.

Tired. He had never felt so tired. Every ounce of energy was drained from his bones. He could barely lift his arm to wipe the sweat from his brow. And alone. He couldn’t remember a time when he felt so absolutely alone. Why had he left his servant in Beersheba? The aloneness was almost more than he could bear.

He had run most of the time since he had read the hastily scribbled note from Jezebel the day before. He felt silly really, but he ran just the same. He knew that the Lord Jehovah was mightier than Jezebel, a mere earthly queen. For some unknown reason when he read her threat of death, panic had seized him. Without thinking, much less praying, he grabbed what he could and ran.

One day later out in the bleak wilderness that was nothing more than different shades of brown dirt, he was suddenly exhausted. He found a lone juniper tree and allowed himself to sit down and rest. Surely he was safe here. The actual truth was that he was safe anywhere the Lord Jehovah sent him, but he wasn’t thinking clearly.

Tears streamed down his face as he thought about how he – a “mighty” prophet of the Most High God – had run like a scared child at the threat of a pagan queen. He had failed mightily and disgraced the name of Jehovah just like the people in Israel he gave God’s warnings to. Who was he to be God’s prophet?

Elijah looked up through the branches of the tree and “prayed that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!’” (1 Kings 19:4)

He closed his eyes and fell fast asleep. Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he jerked awake. He saw who touched him. He rubbed his eyes and looked again. There stood the angel of the Lord smiling kindly at him. The angel said, “Arise and eat.” (1 Kings 19:5)

Elijah didn’t have any food with him. He had left too hastily to grab any provisions.

“Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again.” (1 Kings 19:6)

With a full stomach, sleep came quickly again.

“And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touch him, and said, ‘Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.’” (1 Kings 19:7)

As he ate the meal this time, he felt strength flowing through his body. “[H]e went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.” (1 Kings 19:8)

By the time he reached Mount Horeb six weeks later, the hunger, darkness, and loneliness had once again enveloped him. He crawled into a cave, wrapped his cloak around him, and fell asleep.

The next morning “the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” (1 Kings 19:9)

That was a very good question. Elijah looked around the bleak cave and looked down at his dirty clothes. He ran his hand through his hair and realized that he must look terrible. Well then, he would look the way he felt – terrible. Why was he here in this dark and dismal place, anyway?

The truth was he felt sorry for himself. He had done a mighty work for God on Mount Carmel. He had proven that the Lord Jehovah was the one true God and then had slain 850 “prophets” of Jezebel and her abominable religion. What did he get for it? Did he get a big “thank you” from the people of Israel? Was he applauded for standing up for God in the face of apostasy? No. What he got was a death threat. That was a far cry from the appreciation he deserved.

“So he said, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.’” (1 Kings 19:10)

The word of the Lord came again and told Elijah to go out of the cave and stand on the side of the mountain and He would meet him there.

Elijah went and stood looking out over the valley waiting for the Lord. Suddenly a strong wind came, stronger than Elijah had ever experienced. He flattened against the side of the mountain as rocks fell down all around him. The Lord was not in the wind.

Next the earth began to shake causing the mountain to sway back and forth. Elijah fell with his face to the ground hoping not to be shaken off the mountain. The Lord was not in the earthquake.

Elijah stood up when the earthquake subsided wondering what was going on. He looked down into the valley and saw a fire raging. The fire came sweeping up the mountainside. Elijah watched in fascination. He had never seen anything like this. Almost too late he realized the fire was heading straight for him. He squeezed into a crack in the mountainside and covered his face with his cloak. The fire roared past him, but the Lord was not in the fire.

Elijah crawled out of the crack in the rock and dusted himself off wondering where the Lord was. He had done what the Lord had asked. Had he missed what the Lord had told him?

Then he heard his name. It was not much louder than a whisper. He turned, and there was the Lord. The kindness and love of the voice that called Elijah’s name overwhelmed him.

“So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.” (1 Kings 19:13)

In the sweetness of the moment, “[s]uddenly a voice came to him and said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” (1 Kings 19:14)

Startled, Elijah repeated the reason he had given before. The Lord did not commiserate with him, however, He did affirm him as His prophet and gave him several jobs to do. Before He left, the Lord also affirmed that Elijah was not alone.

“Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18).

The Word of God came to Elijah when Elijah needed it most. Through His Word, God assured Elijah of His love and affirmed the work he was to do. Elijah left Mount Horeb with his faith renewed in the God he served, his strength energized by the new assignments, and his heart lightened with the knowledge that there were many believers yet in Israel.

“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. . . . My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:14 and 27)

This is why Binding Broken Hearts is passionate about getting God’s Word into prisons and into the hands of inmates who so desperately need that Word to redirect their lives and strengthen their faith. Because these are men and women who need Jesus most.

Go Back