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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: 1 Kings

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FRAMEWORKS: 1 Kings 19: Elijah (Part 3) & Elisha

 

v.1-3 Elijah Flees from Jezebel's threats

v.4-8 Facing Death, an angel provides for him

v.9-18 The LORD Appears to Elijah at the cave

v.15-18 The Lord sends him to anoint three others

v.19-21 The Calling of Elisha

 

 

v.1-3 Elijah Flees from Jezebel's threats

 

v.1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 

v.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.” 

v.3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 

 

[Notes: The Queen threatens Elijah – no doubt an empty threat because if she genuinely wanted him killed she wouldn't send a messenger but soldiers – but, nevertheless, [possibly because he was feeling low after his spiritual battle on Carmel] fear takes hold of Elijah and he flees south out of Israel into Judah.]

 

 

v.4-8 Facing Death, an angel provides for him

 

v.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.” 

v.5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 

v.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. 

v.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.” 

v.8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, [Sinai] the mountain of God.

 

[Notes: He continues his journey south, feeling his life is worthless, but the Lord sends an angel who provides for him so he continues south to Mount Sinai.]

 

 

v.9-18 The LORD Appears to Elijah at the cave

 

v.9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 

v.10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 

v11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 

v.12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 

v.13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 

v.14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 

 

[Notes: There on the mountain he finds a cave for shelter and there the Lord confronts him. He feels he is the only believer left in the land. The Lord tells him to go outside and wait for Him to come. A hurricane then an earthquake hit the mountain but God is in neither. But then comes a gentle whisper and Elijah knows it is the Lord questioning why he is there. A second time he expresses his feeling that he is the only believer left in the land, and his life is under threat.]

 

 

v.15-18 The Lord sends him to anoint three others

 

v.15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 

v.16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 

v.17  Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 

v.18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

 

[Notes: There follows a threefold instruction. First to go to the far north where he will find Hazael who he is to anoint new king of Aram. Second, he is to go back down into Israel and anoint Jehu to be the next king of Israel. Finally, he is to anoint Elisha to follow him as the Lord's prophet in the land. Both Hazael and Jehu will bring the sword of judgment into the land. Elisha's ‘death' is likely to be to self, to bring repentance. The Lord adds an almost, “Oh yes, by the way… “ ending; he's not alone, there are at least seven thousand in Israel who remain faithful to Him.]

 

 

v.19-21 The Calling of Elisha

 

v.19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 

v.20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” 

v.21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

 

[Notes: Intriguingly, Elijah only carries out the third of the commands. Elisha is the one who goes to Hazael [2 Kings 8] and then to Jehu [2 Kings 9]. In these verses he goes and finds Elisha who is plowing and throws his mantle over his shoulders without saying why – but Elisha understands and leaves home to follow him.]

 

         

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 20