“And he came there unto a cave and lodged there. And, behold, the Word of the Lord came to him and He said unto him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah’?”
I Kings 19:9
His questions are never for His benefit; He simply wants to know if we know where we are and what we need.
It’d been a long journey from the juniper tree to Mt. Horeb. Forty days and nights, to be exact (v.8). But, instead of standing on that lofty summit—which could have been anywhere from 4,000’-9,000’ high—and enjoying the idyllic, panoramic view, Elijah went into a cave and sat down.
A dark, dank cave, filled with bats and bat dung.
Isn’t it amazing how our outward surroundings so often reflect what’s going on inside of us?
Dim lights. Drawn drapes. Sad love songs playing in the background.
Depression is truly “the Black Hole of the soul.”
And, Elijah was definitely depressed (vv.4-6).
He felt lonely (vv.4, 10, 14). Washed up. Useless. And, he likely was still fearful (vv.1-3).
But, we’ve got to believe he was also feeling guilty and ashamed. Hadn’t he been standing atop Mt. Carmel just a little over a month before, taunting the false prophets and calling down fire from Heaven (18:21-39)?
Most assuredly he had.
But, now, here he is. . .sitting in a cave. . .still wishing he was dead; yet, the God of Abraham had other plans for him.
“Elijah,” He asked, “What are you doing here?”
“Who me, Lord?” came his reply.
“Yes, you, Elijah. I don’t see anyone else sitting nearby. Come. Sit down next to Me and tell Me what you’re doing here.”
“Well, since You asked,” the old prophet said.
And, he began pouring out those heartaches that had been bottled up within him for quite some time—telling God that he was “the only one left who’d been very jealous for the Lord God of Hosts. Everyone else had forsaken Him, thrown down His altars and been killing His prophets” (v.10). Oh, how subtle the sins of pride and resentment!
But, thankfully, God was patient. Both then and now.
And, soon He’d be showing Elijah a thing or two about Himself and himself (vv.11-18).
May we spend a few minutes today listening to the Spirit’s Voice as He asks us “What are you doing here? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Are you happy? Or, are you down-in-the-dumps, wondering ‘What’s the use’?” Then, “Be still and know that He is God” (Ps. 46:10) and allow Him to renew you in soul, mind and body. “The Journey’s great” (v.7b), but Jesus, your Faithful Friend, will travel with you. Trust Him. And, rest in Him (Mt. 11:28-30).
June 10, 2011