into the word(s)
April 4, 2017

Elijah The Whiner

By: Jennifer Aaron [Kelso, WA]

The prophet Elijah could throw a serious pity party. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah challenged 450 prophets of Baal to see whose god could set a sacrifice on fire.

When Baal failed and God succeeded, Elijah killed the prophets who had been luring people away from God. Queen Jezebel told Elijah she would kill him in retaliation; and suddenly, Elijah’s courage vanished. He ran, he hid, and he told God just to go ahead and kill him.


Check out Elijah’s complaint in 1 Kings 19:10.

God sent food to strengthen him, but Elijah hadn’t finished sulking. He went into a cave; and when God asked why he was there, he whined. Even after a powerful display of God’s presence, Elijah continued to complain. Showing divine patience, God explained that Elijah was not alone, that 7,000 people still worshiped God, and that Elijah still had work to do.

Elijah’s honesty provides a glimpse into the way God responds to our unfounded complaints. God provided nourishment, strength, direction, truth, and help—all without condemnation. I can see in Elijah’s life that even someone who had witnessed miracles could grow weak and whiny, yet God wouldn’t abandon him. Elijah’s story reminds me that I’m not the only one whose courage falters. I can be honest with God even when my emotions aren’t pretty or holy. Elijah’s weakest moments strengthen me the most.

PRAYER: Thank you, God, for showing us that everyone has weaknesses and that you are willing to work through us anyway. Show us what to do to serve you. Amen.


Try Something New

Read scripture in another language, or try a new Bible translation. Read or write a poem based on a Bible passage. Find ways to slow down as you read. What do you notice that you haven’t seen before?

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