“What are you doing here?”
The Lord asked Elijah this question as the prophet secreted himself in a cave. The rhetorical question from God made Elijah remember to whom he belonged.After fighting a mighty battle against the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel—and winning—Elijah’s confidence failed when Jezebel threatened him. He responded with fear and ran away to hide in a cavern.
When the word of the Lord came to him in the form of this inquiry, Elijah replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken 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.” I Kings 19:11. NIV.
After Elijah’s response, the Lord showed him the wonders of a massive wind, then an earthquake, and after that, a fire. At the conclusion of these awesome events, the Almighty whispered, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”The great man of God replied with the same answer as before.
God now announced the consequences for Elijah’s panic and failure to trust his God. He would lose his place of service—Elisha would take his place.After all the marvel of Mt. Carmel, Elijah experienced a lack of faith in God’s continued miracles, but God graciously delayed the penalties. He allowed the prophet Elijah to mentor his replacement, Elisha.
At the premature conclusion of Elijah's ministry, God sent a chariot of fire to take Elijah to heaven, but Elijah remained an important figure in Israel history. At the Mount of Transfiguration, Elijah appeared with Moses to speak to Jesus.So what can we learn from the Elijah experience?
After winning battles, mental and physical fatigue can lead to our spiritual downfall. Use these interludes to immerse ourselves in the Word, rest, and wait for recovery. God’s power of deliverance is not limited to a one-time encounter.A place of service to the Lord is important to us all and the loss of time or abilities to serve is heartbreaking. A constant study of God’s power will deliver us from negative feelings set to destroy us.