The “going phrase” on TV right now is “Alone – Together.” Of course, all of these commercial ads are urging folks to stay away from each other due to the Covid 19. Since it spreads from contact with others, the thought is that even though we stay away from each other physically, we’re still all together. We’re just doing it alone. Have you ever felt alone? I mean really alone? Have you cried yourself to sleep because you felt that you had no one who “had your back?” Well, folks, guess what? You are not alone!
In I Kings 18, we read of Elijah’s great confrontation with the 450 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. Elijah had challenged these prophets by telling them, “Call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God that answereth by fire, let Him be God” (I Kings 18:24) The prophets of Baal accepted that challenge and prayed from morning to noon, leaping upon the altar, crying aloud, and cutting themselves with knives. They carried on all day, but when it came time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah set up an altar of 12 stones. He made a trench around it, he put wood and a bullock upon it, and ordered for four barrels of water be poured upon the altar, not once, not twice, but three times! Then he prayed a simple prayer of 63 words (you know a prayer doesn’t have to be “eternal” to be effective – sorry, that’s another blog!), “‘Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou are God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant and that I had done all these thing at Thy Word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that Thou are the Lord God and that Thou hast turned their heart back again.’ Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench” (I Kings 18:36-38) What a great day for the Lord! Elijah must have been on “cloud nine,” right? Wrong!
No, afterwards, he found out that Queen Jezebel was “out to kill him,” and he literally “ran for his life.” He went to Beersheba, and left his servant there, and then traveled another day’s journey into the wilderness. He lay down under a juniper tree, and prayed, “O Lord, take away my life: for I am not better than my fathers” (I Kings 19:4). He asked to die. An angel appeared and provided him a cake of bread and a cruse of water, twice, and he stayed in the wilderness 40 days and nights. The Lord spoke to him in the cave where he dwelt and asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Poor Elijah answered that “I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life to take it away” (I Kings 19:10) Isn’t that pitiful! The Lord told him to stand upon the mount before the Lord, and the Lord passed by. First, a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke the rocks into pieces, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. Finally after the fire, Elijah heard “a still small voice” (I Kings 19:12). This was the Lord! The Lord told Elijah that he was not the “only one” left – there were 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed unto Baal.
Elijah had spent all that time “alone,” basically having a “pity party,” but he was never truly alone for the Lord was watching over him, and there were 7,000 others who felt as he did – he just didn’t know about them. Sometimes, we feel like we are the “only ones” trying to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. Others don’t see the importance of gathering together with our church family. Others use God’s name in vain. They call “evil – good” and “good – evil.” They disrespect our country, our law officials and our God. But, we must realize that even though we “feel alone,” we are really “alone – together.” There are others who feel as we do. There are others who are doing all they can to follow God’s Word. The Lord is there to watch over us, even as He did Elijah. May we be comforted that though we may often feel alone, we are truly “alone together.” Simply blessed, Courtney