Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 19

God gives Elijah the strength to reach Horeb

1 Kings 19:5-8

Elijah had gone as far as he could go into the desert by his own efforts. To reach the mountain called Horeb, where he wanted to pray, he would walk for 40 days (19:8). However, after just the first day, he was already too weak to continue. He realised that he did not have the strength even to get near to the mountain. In fact, he was so weak that he prayed for God to allow him to die. Then he slept.

It was an angel, a special servant of God, who woke him. God wanted Elijah to go to Horeb, but not in his own strength. Elijah must go to Horeb to pray; but God would provide the strength that Elijah needed. So, the angel had baked fresh bread for Elijah. Elijah ate and drank; and then he slept again.

For the second time, the angel woke him to eat. Again Elijah ate and drank – and now he had special strength from God. For 40 days, he walked through the desert to reach Horeb. It seems that he did not need to eat again during that journey. If so, that was like Moses, who did not eat or drink during the 40 days he spent on Horeb (Deuteronomy 9:9).

At last, Elijah reached Horeb, and he climbed the mountain. On this mountain (also called Sinai) God gave his law to Israel’s people (Exodus chapters 19 and 20). Here, God had allowed Moses to see his glory, his splendid beauty, while Moses stayed in a cave (Exodus 33:21 to 34:7). Elijah, too found a cave on the mountain, where he remained that night.

Next part: Elijah appeals to God against Israel (1 Kings 19:9-10)


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