Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 19

Elijah appeals to God against Israel

1 Kings 19:9-10

Elijah was a very holy man, and God acted very powerfully in answer to his prayers. So, God stopped the rain for three years when Elijah prayed against it (1 Kings 17:1; James 5:17). When Elijah prayed for rain, God sent the rain again (18:42-45). God even sent fire from heaven, in the sight of all Israel’s people, because of Elijah’s prayer (18:36-39).

In Elijah’s opinion, all of this had failed to achieve what God had sent Elijah to do. His special task for God was to turn the hearts of Israel’s people back to God (1 Kings 18:37; Malachi 4:5-6). However, wrong religions remained strong in Israel; and cruel and wicked people led the nation. Elijah did not see how Israel’s people could ever truly be God’s holy people.

That was why Elijah went to the mountain called Horeb. He saw that he needed a new experience of God. Even the greatest acts of God’s power had failed to turn Israel’s people back to God. However, on that same mountain, God had declared to Moses his great kindness and love (Exodus 34:6-7). God declared there his desire to forgive all kinds of evil and wicked acts.

Elijah needed to know whether those things were still true. If so, Elijah also needed to understand how God could bring about those things in the present situation.

So there, on Horeb, Elijah appealed to God against Israel (Romans 11:2-3). He reminded God about their many evil deeds. He alone remained loyal to God from all the people in northern and central Israel, Elijah said. Now they were trying to kill him, he added.

Next part: The wind, the earthquake, and the fire (1 Kings 19:11)


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