Elijah is such an intriguing character because he is one with whom we can identify. Yesterday, Elijah (whose name means literally “God is the Lord”) saw one of the greatest victories he would ever have. Calling down fire from the sky, his victory was not this control of power, for when it comes to God (or most anything else in life for that matter), “control” is an illusion we use to feel significant. His victory was instead his faith, his trust in Yahweh to do what He had promised. Even with a voice from God telling us what to do, how many of us would be willing to stand before the army of the current culture and not only show them to be helpless (“keep shouting! Maybe baal is asleep, or on vacation!) but then put yourself in a situation where you are literally going to die unless God comes through?
But after this victory, when his nemesis finds out and threatens him, he flees to the mountains, hides in terror, and pleads for death. And we in our self-righteousness say, “how could such a man of God, after a victory like that, be praying for death at a simple threat?” But when was the last time you saw God at work, only to doubt Him the next day? I know for me it sometimes doesn’t even take a day, but in the next hour I doubt and tremble.
The good news of this passage is that even in our weakness, terror, and doubt, God meets us where we are with a display of His character. For God is not in the tornado, or the earthquake, or the forest fire, but in the still small voice. “Elijah, what are you doing here?”