1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 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 19:1-4
Elijah was running scared. It didn’t matter that God had consumed the stones and bones of the offering and altar. It didn’t matter that 450 prophets of Ba’al had just been put to the sword. And, lest it be forgotten, the drought was over: rain had finally come. And Elijah had been involved in it all. Yet Jezebel, who’d fed the 450 killed prophets as well as the 400 prophets of Asherah, said she’d kill Elijah for what he’d done. This feeder of these 850 prophets during severe drought wanted Elijah dead. Never mind she couldn’t rescue the Ba’al “boogie men,” but Elijah felt like she could kill him. Elijah had gone from a mountain top experience to a deep, dark valley with a few threatening words.
It would seem these few words moved Elijah from hearing God to hearing himself. The powerful words of God were exchanged for the powerful words inside Elijah. He made a choice to listen to them and flee. This reminds me of times when my internal narrative drove me away from God and others. These thoughts are real. If they can drive Elijah to preferring death rather than life, they can certainly affect us today. These lies that knock around in our heads are just that, and they come from the father of lies (John 8:44).
One of the wonderful benefits of reading God’s word is the investment of truth into your heart and mind. Reading the truth and thinking about it all day is one way of quieting the false narrative we seem to have going on. It renews your mind (Romans 12:2) and can literally build new pathways in your brain for living life. Prayer is another way to do the same thing. It’s amazing that we seem to think nothing of talking with family, friends and coworkers, but with God, it seems different. Yes, we’re communicating with the Creator, but a state of prayer can dispel the lies! Here’s something to try: whenever you think of prayer, pray! And it doesn’t need to be full of ‘thee’s and ‘thou’s, just talk with God. Give thanks and praise or just plain tell him you love him. I’m certain making this practice part of your everyday life will help change the lies to truth.
By Rich Obrecht