Elijah had a high expectation after the confrontation at Mount Carmel. He was hoping to see the Israelites returning to the Lord, and the repentance of King Ahab. Unfortunately, what he faced were only Jezebel’s revenge and killing.
In light of these consequences, Elijah was filled with discouragement and disappointment. He fled to the desert, where he complained to God at a broom tree.
When the effect of ministry is undetectable, or when we encounter failure, our hearts will inevitably be discouraged and disappointed.
Facing his frustration, God did not blame Elijah. He instead gave him three unexpected responses:
1. God gave Elijah rest
God did not immediately give Elijah a harsh talk. He let him lie down, and fed him with food and water. God is a caring God, in big and small ways.
2. God let Elijah understand Him deeper
The Lord did not show up in the midst of wind, earthquake or fire, but in a still small voice. Similarly, God does not always show up in the spectacular. God still works through man’s disappointments.
3. God called Elijah out from the cave and sent him out again
When Elijah thought that his ministry was a complete failure, he was restored and recommissioned by God. When he thought that everything was over, it was only the beginning of a new chapter of ministry. God was not finished with Elijah yet.