Jean’s Gospel: You Are Not Alone

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7 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    I would come at this from a different angle.
    I’d say that Elijah’s depression was from exhaustion, both mental and physical and a failure to care for himself through food and hydration.
    He was also terrified of Jezebel.
    He was totally burned out, then kept running on ashes.
    I’m sure that Israel’s apostasy was deeply troubling to him, but he ran himself into a dangerous place.
    It happens today to some of Gods best…

  2. Em says:

    Strangely, i was thinking as i read Jean’s piece, Elijah was exhausted… I suspect God took that into account. 🙆

  3. Jean says:

    I would encourage our readers to go with the text. When Elijah fleed from Jezebel, we are given two insights into Elijah’s frame of mind:

    “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”

    And

    “And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” Elijah repeats this confession twice identically.

    Unquestionably Elijah is despondent over the apostasy of his people: “for I am no better than my fathers” and “…I, even I only, am left.”

    What is the Lord’s response? It is the revelation of the judgment God would bring on the apostates and comfort that the Israel would continue through (i) a successor, Elisha, and (ii) a remnant of 7,000 Israelites who had not defiled themselves with Baal.

    If there was burn out, it appears to be the result of a misplaced belief on the part of Elijah that he was working or running in vain. In other words, his work for the Lord appeared to be bearing no fruit with the people of Israel. Without hope that the people would turn back to the Lord, Elijah was ready to give up.

    Once the Lord revealed more of His plans, Elijah was strengthened in spirit and completed his mission.

  4. Michael says:

    Jean,

    We will agree to disagree…we use different commentaries…

  5. Em says:

    Taking nothing away from Jean’s valid teaching, exhaustion, particularly when preceded by long years of effort can distort one’s perception… can make faith in previously thought out and affirmed Truth blurr …
    We should always pray for the Church and, as we become aware of a need among our brethern, lift that need to the throne of God in our prayers…
    Very seldom do we receive feedback as we pray…
    I’ll share an incident here because it has remained a data point for me – an affirmation that God is listening
    As most of us do, i was praying for my children when i “heard” plainly, “If you love your children, pray for S…” The adult daughter of some dear friends, but i would have had to stop and think, maybe couldn’t have recalled her name. Just as i finished my prayer time the phone rang. It was S. ..’ father. He said that he and her mother were on the way to Calif. They’d just received word that S… had been hit by a speeding car, was in the emergency room and might not make it. Would i please pray?
    There were some miracles, including a region-wide meeting of triage physicians that was just ending as she was wheeled in. She’s pinned together in several places, but she did make it.
    My point? Don’t let how you feel override what you know, what you’ve bet your life on….

  6. Jerod says:

    Which NT writer was it that said there will or must be heresies? Heresies are in themselves both a cost yet an overall benefit.

    What constitutes a heresy is the rub.

    As far as Elijah’s depression, I think it’s both. The exhaustion of serving a people who continually exhibit their fickle faith, amen with you one minute then turn around and filet you from the back, the king is a child who let’s his wife try and kill you, no friends in sight – like any of us he had had enough.

    If the point of John’s and Elijah’s separation was fleeing idolaters, then why did Jesus teach among those whom John fled? Is it possible that these desert experiences (like Moses et Christ) are reflective of our own experiences? In other words, before we are called into ministry, is it likely that God brings us through a desert, a famine? Maybe he wants us to rely on Him solely, drawing upon His Spirit in prayer solely, in a place where he even feeds us, teaches us to accept his food from things he calls unclean, like Elijah did?

  7. Jean says:

    A few comments on the question:

    “If the point of John’s and Elijah’s separation was fleeing idolaters, then why did Jesus teach among those whom John fled?”

    1. Jesus was more than a prophet: “something greater than Jonah is here.”

    2. No places or persons were outside the reach of the mercy that God in Christ brought: “the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”

    3. Jesus came as the stronger man who binds the strong man: “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.”

    Jesus not only went to places of idolatry, he intentionally went to those places, to both free captives and render judgment, including overturning the tables in the corrupt temple. Jesus could do more than the prophets: He could both prophesy and fulfill prophecy.

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