I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
This is my favorite part of the story….
This will have to be in two parts. For the whole story you can read 1 Kings 18-19. This is what God, our loving heavenly Father, did to care for those with depression. But before I can get there here’s a little back story…1 Kings 18-19 has such a loving and tender portrait of how to care for those suffering of depression. Actually it starts in chapter 17. Elijah tells Ahab there will be no more rain because of Israel’s turning away from the Lord. Ahab is even called the most evil king over Israel to that day. He was married to Jezebel. She was a fanatic for the false god baal. In fact she had the prophets of God hunted down and killed. Elijah was Chief on her list. In ch. 18 Elijah sends word to Ahab that after three years it is going to rain again. They all meet on Mt. Carmel to pray for fire to consume the sacrifices prepared… The false prophets of baal did one and then Elijah.
The false prophets prayed to baal. Baal’s prophets accept the challenge, set up their altar and began crying to their god. Of course no fire falls.
“Maybe he can’t hear you,” Elijah says. Then he suggests that they shout louder. They do, but still no fire falls. “Is he asleep?” Elijah taunts. “You had better wake him up.” As a final appeal, Baal’s prophets slash themselves with knives but that doesn’t work either. No fire comes.
After all this, Elijah builds an altar to the Lord, digs a trench around it, and orders that water be poured over it. Twelve barrels of water in all are used until the sacrifice is soaked through and through and the ditch around it is running over. Then Elijah prayed and the fire of God consumed both sacrifices, the wood, the stones, the soil and all surrounding water that the people had added to the sacrifice at Elijah’s request . The people fell to the ground and cried, “The Lord He is God! The Lord He is God!” (Daniel Rodgers part a)
Then Elijah had all the false prophets killed, 450 of them. Now this was an amazing victory in the name of the Lord. Then it rains. Ahab goes to meet with jezebel and tell her what Elijah did. She vowed to kill Elijah. On a side note, you see a glimpse of jezebel’s heart. Her country has not received rain for three years, and all she can think of is revenge and death. No rejoicing for her people.
Whereas after three years though Elijah just had this great victory he was terrified by the news of jezebel. And he ran in terror of her. He asked his servant to stay behind, people who are depressed tend to withdraw from others. He then ran another day and went and sat under a juniper tree, he told God he was no better than his ancestors and prayed to God to die. Here is this amazing man of God. He was in right relationship with God. He just took part in this amazing miracle of God but he was afraid, on the run, exhausted, isolated, is feeling like a failure and praying for death. He just won this great spiritual battle, and now he was ready to throw in the towel and die…Tomorrow I will finally get to tell you what God did with Elijah…I can’t wait!!l