- Sermon Notes
Know Where to Hide
1 Kings 19:1-18
Intro – No, over there!
In whatever you face there is a choice to make. In the Bible we see many examples that reveal the Lord as the one we can run to, as a refuge, strength, hiding place, a strong tower, the place to run to and find safety from whatever you face (Prov. 18:10).
Psalm 32:7, You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 119:114, You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word.
Though the Bible points us toward the Lord, the question comes, where do you run when you need shelter, refuge and strength? In your life, no matter what you face, there is One you can run to, One in whose shelter you can hide. It is a powerful truth, and a resounding theme in Scripture.
This morning are going to look at a section in the life of Elijah the Prophet, who, though he had more than enough reason to know that the Lord was his true hiding place, decided to run and hide in a wilderness of his choosing for refuge.
Read: 1 Kings 19:1-18
After the prophets of Baal were destroyed, Jezebel found out and sent word to Elijah that she was going to take him out by the next day at the same time. Despite the power of the Lord he had just seen, despite the victory over the prophets of Baal, here we see Elijah running from this looming threat. He knew who his God was, yet fear overwhelmed him, and he ran for his life.
Psalm 46:1, God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
No matter what you face, I want to remind you that the Lord is the One you can run to, the place you can hide. To hide in Him means that in His presence and will is the safest place for you to run and remain.
Charles Spurgeon: A man who is surrounded by foes does not stand still, see a hiding place, and say, “Yes, I can see there is a hiding place there.” Rather, he runs to it.
- Cling to Who is Working
1 Kings 19:1-4
- After the Lord answered by fire and consumed the sacrifice, rain was brought upon the land. It had been 3 ½ years since rain had fallen. Surely Elijah was seeing God’s hand at work.
- When King Ahab told his wife Jezebel all that had happened, she became furious. She was determined to take Elijah out, and sent word that she was going to take his life.
- Jezebel warned Elijah that her mission was to take his life within 24 hours.
- After this threat Elijah ran away to hide, not in the arms of the Father, but into the wilderness.
- Though he had just seen incredible victory in front of 450 prophets of Baal, fear overwhelmed Elijah and he decided to respond to the threat, rather than the Lord.
Psalm 18:10, The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.
- Rather than run to the Lord, Elijah ran to the wilderness.
- The wilderness is a dry, barren, and bleak place. Little grows there, it is the opposite of fruitfulness, yet, at some point in life, it seems everyone finds themselves in a spiritual desert.
- Many great leaders in the Bible found themselves there for significant periods. Abraham, David, Moses, Joshua, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Elijah was there more than once (1 Kings 17:3; 19:3-4).
- Earlier, in Kings chapter 17, we see Elijah, going to Ahab, telling him that there was going to be no dew or rain for the next few years, except by his word.
- This was a bold word given to Baal worshipping King Ahab, not only because of the word itself, but those who worshipped Baal believed he was the god who brought the rains and harvests.
- Rebellion and heresy were at an all-time high and Ahab was shocked to hear this.
- The Lord had told Elijah to go away from there and turn eastward, to hide by himself and he would be provided for.
- The Lord directed Elijah to hide away because Ahab and company would take his life if they saw him. It wasn’t yet time for the Lord to bring rain. He was protecting Elijah.
- The Lord provided food and shelter to Elijah for 3 ½ years while he was hiding. At the end of this period, the Lord sent him to go and meet Ahab again.
- Now fast forward to this situation, again a bold proclamation and move of God, incredible and miraculous.
- Elijah hears a threat, Jezebel put a 24 hour time limit on his life, and in response, Elijah fled into the wilderness again, but not because the Lord told him to, rather, because he was afraid.
- As I read this story, I can’t help but wonder if he ran again because it was what worked previously.
- Looking to what had worked, rather than who was working.
- Often, we can get focused on a formula, rather than the direction needed that day.
Illus. Try this!
Proverbs 2:6-7, The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity.
Jeremiah 33:3, Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
- His answer will be better than your prayer
1 Kings 19:4, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”
- Wanting to be alone, Elijah left his servant and went a day’s journey into the wilderness. It was there that he sat down and prayed, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”
- Elijah thought it would be better to die at God’s hand than Jezebel’s.
- The Lord had a different and better plan. You can almost hear God say, “This is the best you can come up with Elijah?”
- First, God gives him rest. We really need to understand how important rest is to our spiritual victory. When you are burnt out and worn down, your perspective changes.
- The provided food and water for Him under a juniper tree. The food was provided from an angel.
- Then, the Lord provides him food through the angel again that would allow Elijah to go on a 40-day journey to Mount Horeb, also known as Mount Sinai.
- The Lord had more in store for Elijah. It would be on this mountain that God would reveal His plan for him.
1 Corinthians 2:9, What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love Him. (NIV)
Isaiah 40:30-31, Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.
Illus. Send them home!
- While the Lord had sustained Elijah through his 40-day journey, this desert journey was not ultimately where the Lord wanted Elijah.
- When Elijah reached Mt. Horeb (Sinai), he lodged there in a cave. Mt. Horeb is mount Sinai, this is the place where Moses heard from the Lord in a burning bush, where the law of the Lord was given.
1 Kings 19:9-10
- Upon His arrival, it seems that he had found safety in the cave and would lodge there to stay away from the looming threat. He had previously waited over 3 years; however, the Lord was not planning for Elijah to remain in a cave for 3 years, He was drawing Him to the place where he could hear him most clearly.
- Seek His still small voice
- As Elijah lodged in a cave on Mt. Sinai, the Lord would speak differently that what Elijah would think or expect.
- God called out to Elijah there in that cave and asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” It was time for Elijah to get this off his chest.
- “I have been very zealous… and I alone am left; and now they seek my life to take it away.”
- Elijah was feeling the weight of the world, all alone, on an island. They were going to take his life and he needed to help himself by hiding in a cave and remaining alone.
- Elijah had stopped focusing on the adequacy of God and instead was focusing on the inadequacy of Elijah.
- In the midst of it, the Lord asks Him, “what are you doing here, Elijah?”
- For Elijah the Lord was going to show Him the way out, but not before drawing near so that Elijah could hear His still small voice.
1 Kings 19:11-13
- Elijah had seen the terrible condition of Israel and wanted the Lord to shake the earth with an obvious work of His power. “The fire and rain was great, Lord, keep them coming!”
- He likely wanted the Lord to bring a great demonstration of His power, but the Lord revealed to Elijah just how He was moving. In a still small voice.
- We often desire the same: bring the fire! Bring the rain. I am waiting Lord, bring the wind, the earthquake, the fire! But the Lord wants to draw near in a gentle blowing, in His still small voice.
James 4:8, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 37:7, Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices.
2 Timothy 1:7, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Psalm 34:3, O magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.
- It was the Lords voice Elijah needed to hear. What is in the way of your hearing the Lord’s voice in your life today?
1 Kings 19:14, Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
- The Lord would tell him there were 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed their knee to Baal. God was speaking to their hearts in a still small voice, and there were some who were listening.
- The Lord reminded Elijah that he was not alone, and pointed him back to his purpose.
- He says, Elijah, you have work to do. You need to anoint two kings and raise up your replacement (Vs. 15-16).
- Pursue His purpose in your position
- The Lord hadn’t brought Elijah that far for him to hide in a cave. He would anoint and raise up the next generation.
- Elisha was given a double portion of Elijah’s spirit and the Bible records exactly twice as many miracles through Elisha than Elijah.
- There was a purpose beyond his disappointment.
Matthew 5:15, Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.
- To what place have you come considering all that is going on? I encourage you run to the Lord, hide in Him.
Psalm 119:114, You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word.
1 Kings 19:1-18
Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.” Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God. Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” The Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”