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1 Kings 19:1-8 (NIV)
Elijah Flees to Horeb
19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 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.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
We are starting to see a pattern. This time, it is the prophet Elijah who fasts for 40 days in the wilderness. He ends up wandering to Mount Horeb – the very place where Moses received the 10 Commandments. In this case, Elijah’s ‘lent-like’ journey is like a “time out”. He had suffered much rejection and disappointment. This is a time for him to be away from preaching, and renew his trust in God and reclaim the habit of receiving life from God. The key here is for us to be more like Elijah, and learn to receive our sense of well-being not from our successes or failures, but from God’s presence in our lives.