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  • Writer's pictureRick Zumpano

What Are You Doing Here?

The journey had taken forty days, but it seemed longer than that. The desert had been harsh, and the sun hot. The climb up the mountain was arduous. But the inner turmoil was the worst.

Jezebel had sworn to take his life, and Elijah knew her power over the king. He was also quite aware of her passion for Baal and her hatred of him. Before a great multitude, he had shown her god to be a fraud, and then personally slaughtered four hundred fifty of Baal’s prophets. Jezebel’s hunger for vengeance would be insatiable.

Added to all of that was his knowing that all of Israel had forsaken the covenant of the Lord God. From the Jordan to the Great Sea, the people bowed to Baal and kissed him. Being very zealous for the Lord, the prophet was heartbroken over all of this.

The cave on Horeb brought welcome relief. It was cool, and quiet. He felt safe there on God’s mountain far away from the long arm of Jezebel’s wrath and the prying eyes of her agents. It was a place to hide out. And rest. Perhaps a place to die.

But it was the word of the Lord which most stirred him that evening. “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Take some time and read the rest of the narrative. Elijah offered his reasons for being there, but they all turned into weak excuses as God demonstrated His great power on the mountain. They were indeed the facts surrounding the situation, but where God is concerned, the facts are often not impressive. The Almighty had everything already worked out! After all, He is the LORD God!

Elijah had taken his eye off of the Lord and allowed the problems encircling him to get bigger in his heart than God. And so he had run. We have all done the same.

And when you run away, God will come to bring you back. He will stand at the entrance to your hiding place and whisper: “What are you doing here?” Pray that you will listen.

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