As I was reading the first part of this chapter, I was touched by how an angel comforted Elijah. He was running for his life, away from Jezebel and Ahab, who wanted him dead for killing the prophets of Baal. The message was clear: They wanted revenge (1 Kings 19:1-3).
“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” – 1 Kings 19:4
Imagine running for our lives (hopefully not from loan-sharks), because our very existence was threatened by another individual. Personally, I would feel terrified and extremely stressful. Elijah’s life was at stake and he was trying to flee from Jezebel in order to stay alive. He wandered into the wilderness and the journey took him a full day. Finally, Elijah gave up and asked for death, for he was tired and deeply discouraged.
“And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” – 1 Kings 19:5-8
God did not lose sight of Elijah but has watched over him, while he escaped from Jezebel. He sent an angel to comfort Elijah by providing him food that strengthened him for the days to come.
God’s love is amazing. He will do anything to comfort us when we are experiencing hardships during the most difficult and trying times. Like Elijah, it is during such journey through the valley of death that the Lord not only guides us, but strengthens us through his love and comforting grace.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalms 34:18 (NIV)