First Kings 19 Commentary
This chapter is full of symbolism. Forty days and forty nights may remind us of the same number of days spent by Moses at Horeb, receiving the Covenant law.
In a time of confusion and discouragement, the saint is encouraged to make the same trip to the place where it all began. It is a place of the Covenant. Here Elijah meets the Covenant-keeping God. Fear is an important word here but it doesn’t highlight the main thought of the chapter. Elijah is looking at something far beyond the Jezebel threats. What is the GOD of the Covenant saying about the status quo?
The LORD does appear to Elijah but it is yet another ‘small’ concept; a small still voice. The LORD has been Fire as we saw in the burning bush of Moses, and also in the fire that Elijah called from heaven. But finally, the LORD would speak but it’s through the small and still voice of the LORD Jesus. This is the LORD’s response to the worried and fearful Elijah in a world full of Baal worship.
At the transfiguration, recorded in the gospel of Luke, the LORD Jesus appears with two other Horeb characters in Moses and Elijah. The act is complete; the Law, Moses; and the prophets, Elijah, are pointing to this one most important event. The LORD’s response to Elijah is the appearance of the LORD Himself in a small still voice.
In the meantime, Elijah is tasked with the responsibility of passing on the preaching ministry to Elisha. He would also anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Jehu would be anointed as king over Israel. The last two tasks would be passed on to Elisha and the prophetic institution that Elijah presided over. This could be important.
The LORD commanded Elijah to anoint Jehu but it was actually another prophet who did it. He was commanded to anoint Hazael but it was Elisha who anointed Hazael. There is a vision that a father must pass on to his children to execute because that is exactly the doing of the LORD. When LORD speaks, the word might concern a time beyond the saint’s own life span. Some answers to prayer are only actualized through the saint’s children or even grandchildren. And these could be one of those the careless saint might think the LORD never answered.
“The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” Verse 7. When looking at the important aspects of scripture, it is easy to overlook the softer moments of the LORD. How grateful we are to the LORD for such moments! Such generosity! Such kindness!
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