After Elijah killed the false prophets of Ba-al [1st Kings 18:40] we find him running for his life in the next chapter [see 1st Kings 19:3-4]. The notorious blow-hard queen Jezebel was all in a tizzy over Elijah killing her 400 dancing monkeys at the first annual Ba-al worship concert and she’d threatened to kill him within 24 hrs. This scripture baffled me for a long time in years past. I questioned Elijah’s stamina and judged him harshly for running. How in the world, I wondered, could the great Elijah possibly be afraid of a mop-head like Jezebel? Run from her, surely you can’t be serious? In fact I wondered why Elijah didn’t invite her to bring her “Ba-al worshippers against God” sign and come on down to Mt. Carmel so he could straighten her out like he had her false prophets. I’ve many times wondered why he feared her. But let’s go on.

As we take up his story, it was just a few days ago that the miraculous “fire of the Lord” fell upon the altar of God in Mt. Carmel. It was such a dramatic demonstration of the power and majesty of the Living God that Elijah must’ve thought ‘surely this will turn the world back to the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Moses!’ None could deny it. Yet, within hours many of the infuriated Jews and Gentiles had again thrown down the altar of God and were after Elijah! How could it be? From this great miracle where people had shouted “The Lord, He is God” [Ch 18:39] had degenerated into an angry mob! {That should sound familiar to those who study their Bibles}.

It is no surprise to me personally that we find Elijah in chapter 19:3-4 discouraged, depressed and exasperated. Like many who suffer from depression he’s sought solitude. Exhausted from running, he’s laid under a tree alone and gone to sleep. Yet God, who loves us and watches over “his children”, who never leaves us nor forsakes us, has seen every step Elijah has taken and watched him fall asleep. In His tender pity and mercy He sent an angel to build a fire and cook a little “cake” for Elijah [the country preacher commentary, by which I mean mine, says “cake” in the Hebrew means cornbread]. Now the Lord could have simply dropped a bag of manna from heaven beside Elijah. He could have just given Elijah the strength of Sampson or the courage of Gabriel and strengthened him and sent him home. But no, our God sent His angel to cook this discouraged weary servant a “cake” {cornbread and maybe some coffee too}; in fact verse 7 says he did it twice! Psalm 34:7 says “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them”. I urge you to read verse 6 and then read Psalm 27:13-14 too. The point is, look at our God’s tender handling of His servant during this darkest hour of Elijah’s life. Look how gentle and providential He was! When my children were small I often sat beside them as they slept and softly rubbed their head. I won’t be one bit surprised to one day learn that God does that to us during hard times. I know beyond all doubt that in my deepest pits my tender Lord whispered “trust me”.