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Sermon on 1 Kings 19.1-18
Title:  Seeing God
Theme:  God’s word is powerful in the quiet, fearful times.
Goal: to encourage God’s faithful that God’s word kingdom is powerful in quiet, fearful times.
Need:  God’s people often feel discouraged and angered when God’s kingdom seems to be powerless.
Introduction:  Feeling discouraged.
Elijah crashes
Elijah questions
Elijah sees God
Conclusion:  Over coming discouragement.
Winnie the Pooh asks a great question.
How come things never fall up.
My kids got a new book recently where Pooh Bear gets frustrated because everything seems to fall down hard.
He falls out of bed.
Acorns fall on his head.
He falls out of a tree trying to get honey.
He finds out that everything that goes up must come down.
Gravitational attraction is one of the truths of our universe.
Pooh found out about it the hard way.
Elijah finds out about one of the seemingly inevitable truths of living by God’s word and serving his kingdom.
Every follower of the kingdom of God experiences highs and lows.
Everyone that goes up must come down.
Elijah has gone through a spiritual high.
He’s just come off of mount Carmel.
God answered his prayer.
Ignited the soggy sacrifice.
God shows he is the God of life.
Then God sends the rain after years of drought.
Elijah has been on top.
What goes up, must come down.
Elijah was up on the mountain, but he must come back down again.
He is told to go ahead of Ahab back to Jezreel which is in the valley to the east of Mount Carmel.
And when he’s there he gets a message from Jezebel that must have hit him so hard.
She’s furious.
Elijah has killed her prophets of Baal.
In verse 2 she says, *““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.”[1]
          If Elijah was to truly bring Israel back to believing in the true God the heart of the King and Queen would have to be turned.
Without them, the nation is still heading the wrong direction.
You hear it in here, the reason for Elijah’s crash from the mountain top.
Jezebel is after him now.
She has tried to kill the servants of Yahweh.
She has said in 24 hours she will kill him too.
That’s the beginning of the crash.
Then into the crisis of his life.
*What brings him to the bottom is the realization that he has rejected God himself.
He ran for his life.
* He knows that God is the God of really real life.
He has been miraculously fed in the wilderness.
He has been miraculously fed by a starving widow.
He has watched the life return to the widows son*.
He knows God is bigger than Jezebel and her threats against his life.
But he runs in fear.*
*It isn’t even the running that is that bad.*
Look at Obadiah, secretly being a follower of God while in Ahab’s court.
And look at the hundred prophets of God that he hid.
And even Elijah himself was sent away for protection and safekeeping during the famine.
That’s the time when the birds gave him bread and meat to eat.
Its not about the fear and the fleeing.
*Verse 3 says he flees south and ends up in Beersheba.*
If you can picture the layout of the land.
Elijah was up North at Mount Carmel.
Then in the Jezreel Valley next to it.
Beersheba is on the very southern border of Judah, the southern kingdom.
He has fled a long way.
And in Beersheba, he is going to keep on going.
He is not going into hiding.
He is running away from Jezebel and from his ministry to the people of Israel.
He’s running away from God
          Its symbolic the way he leaves his servant in Beersheba.
He isn’t going to make his servant betray God and leave the promised land.
But he has his mind made up.
Finally, Elijah hits rock bottom.
He reaches the breaking point in this crisis in his life.
Exhausted from days of fleeing, he plops down under a broom tree, and says, *“I have had enough, Lord,” he said.
“Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”[2]*
He has turned away from God.
He has failed as the one who is supposed to bring the Word of God.
He is done.
He just wants to be done with life.
*All his other prayers were for the miraculous coming of life.
Now he prays for death?*
I know many of us have reached that point.
Its not a question of if some of us have wanted our life to end.
Its just the reality of broken life is that most of us at some point or another will just wish it would be over.
*One of things could lead to it would be failure.*
When you feel like you have chosen a life calling, but can’t succeed in the area, that could lead you to this kind of crisis.
*Maybe its some tremendous sin you have committed.*
If it has come out into the open, maybe you feel like it would be better just to die then face the consequences.
Those are the feelings most likely plaguing Elijah.
No matter what crisis of life you are going through, is it comforting in itself to know that a person so in touch with God and with his purpose for his life could go through such a major life crisis?
It tells us that no one is immune from this crisis of life.
*But somehow knowing that even those who look like they have it all together, are suffering the same as the rest of us as well.
Even the people the most full of the Holy Spirit and in touch with that power have times of crisis as well.
We shouldn’t beat ourselves up or hate ourselves for crises that we go through.*
It offers hope in much the same way that we look at Christ and realize that he has suffered the ways we have and has endured temptations that we have.
Of course, the passage isn’t done here either.
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