January 2, 2024

1 Kings 19:10-21 (HCSB)
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous  for the Lord God of Hosts, but the Israelites have abandoned Your covenant,  torn down Your altars,  and killed Your prophets  with the sword. I alone am left,  and they are looking for me to take my life.”
11 Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.” At that moment, the Lord passed by.  A great and mighty wind  was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake,  but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake there was a fire,  but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper.  13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle  and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Hosts,” he replied, “but the Israelites have abandoned Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they’re looking for me to take my life.”
15 Then the Lord said to him, “Go and return by the way you came to the Wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, you are to anoint Hazael  as king over Aram. 16 You are to anoint Jehu  son of Nimshi as king over Israel and Elisha  son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17 Then Jehu will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Hazael,  and Elisha will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Jehu.  18 But I will leave 7,000 in Israel —every knee that has not bowed to Baal  and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
Elisha’s Appointment as Elijah’s Successor
19 Elijah left there and found Elisha  son of Shaphat as he was plowing. Twelve teams of oxen were in front of him, and he was with the twelfth team. Elijah walked by him and threw his mantle over him.  20 Elisha left the oxen, ran to follow Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and mother, and then I will follow you.”
“Go on back,” he replied, “for what have I done to you?”
21 So he turned back from following him, took the team of oxen, and slaughtered them. With the oxen’s wooden yoke and plow,  he cooked the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he left, followed Elijah, and served him.

Pastor HD Jones
Loneliness is a trap of Satan.  We can find ourselves, like Elijah, thinking we are the only one.  For my single friends, you may think everyone else is married and what is wrong with me.  For my friends trying to stay celibate or sober, you may think you're the only person you know trying to honor God.  
Christianity can sometimes seem lonely because we are called to be a “peculiar people” but we always need to be reminded that God NEVER leaves us or forsakes us.  Elijah fell fast from his mountain top experience.   He went from being the most powerful person in the kingdom to running into the wilderness feeling like he was the only person trying to live for God.  I love how God approaches Elijah.  He is kind, gentle, and yet firm.  God tells Elijah that he is not alone and that there is help on the way.  
Whether you are on the mountain top today or find yourself hiding in a cave, please be reminded that God is with us and for us.  Many times my feelings don’t measure up to the promises of God.  Maybe you need to listen for the “still small voice”.

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