Historical Context: Elijah has just called fire down from Heaven and killed 450 prophets of the idol Baal. He has brought Ahab, the king of Israel, back into submission to the true God. He has just won a great victory. But he’s about to find out that the war is not over. He will need a new vision of God before he can go into battle again. Elijah knew what it was like to see the Lord act powerfully. But now he needs to see another side of God. This portion of our history takes place in approximately the year 875 BC.
Authorship: The Book of the Kings was written mostly by Jeremiah the prophet during Israel’s exile in Babylon. It was compiled from the writings of various other prophets and books of history. It was later edited and completed by subsequent prophets and Levitical (Israel’s) priests.
Read 1 Kings 19:1-19
Jezebel – Queen of Israel, original reason for Ahab’s worship of Baal (1 Kings 16:31-33), tried to exterminate all the prophets of God (1 Kings 18:13), and treated the false prophets as royalty (1 Kings 18:19)
“Elijah” – Hebrew for “The Lord is my God”
Small Group Questions:
1. Why does Elijah go to Beersheba? How is he feeling?
2. In light of all the miracles and the powerful ways in which Elijah has seen God work, is Elijah’s actions and attitude in this passage justifiable? Why or why not?
3. Even though Elijah has temporarily lost faith, what does verses 5 through 8 tell us about how God deals with such situations?
4. Why does God ask, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
5. How does God ultimately meet Elijah’s need?
6. Why does God show Elijah such powerful things as the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, before revealing Himself in a gentle whisper?
7. Why does God tell Elijah that there are “seven thousand in Israel” who are still faithful to God?
8. After God has revealed Himself to Elijah and refreshed his soul, what does God do? What is Elijah’s reaction? (Hint: Look in verses 15, 16, 19)
9. What evidence is there in this passage of God communicating with man?
1. God _______________________________________________. All I have to do is
2. God is ______________________________________________, even if _______
3. I will be _____________________________________________________________
for God to ______________________________________________________________.
Answers to Questions:
1. He is afraid. God has not commanded him to go. He’s ready to give up. He wants to die. He thought that his big victory at Mount Carmel would settle things and now he’s disappointed.
2. After the miraculous ways in which Elijah has seen God work, he should not worry about his own life. He should know that God can protect him from rulers, as He had done before, when Ahab wanted to kill him. Elijah has simply lost his faith in God for a moment. And if he doubted, we should not be surprised when we do too.
3. Though Elijah has lost faith in God, God is still faithful to Elijah to give him what he needs.
4. God is confronting Elijah. It’s like asking, “What do you think you’re doing?” or “Why did you do that?” God wants Elijah to know that he was wrong for doubting.
5. God gives Elijah a fresh revelation of Himself. There is nothing to lift the spirits like a new encounter with God. This is the same thing that God did with Job. When Job was feeling depressed, God did not explain why things happened the way they did. He simply allowed Job to experience His presence in a way that he never had before.
6. Elijah was used to seeing God work in powerful ways. This is what he expected, but when we hear God’s gentle whisper in our hearts, it speaks louder than anything else. When we have a personal moment with God, it is sweeter and more life-changing than any outward sign that He could perform God’s whisper in our souls is what changes our lives.
7. Elijah has been saying that he is the only one left who is faithful to God. God wants to encourage him by telling him that he’s not alone.
8. God again commands Elijah to go do His work. After being refreshed by God, Elijah is ready to go do that which God has commanded.
9. Elijah is fed by the angel. God speaks to Elijah throughout almost the entire passage.
1. God speaks to man every day. All I have to do is listen.
2. God is always faithful to me, even if I sometimes doubt Him.
3. I will be open to and eagerly waiting for God to reveal Himself to me in new ways.