“And Elijah requested for himself that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.’” --1 Kings 19:4
Sometimes you’ve just had enough. When you study the Scriptures, you frequently come across some of God’s people who have reached their breaking point. Circumstances, exhaustion, family problems, fears, and numerous other issues can cause a person to say, “Enough! Just take me home, Lord.” This happened to Elijah.
The fascinating thing about Elijah, is that he was fresh on the heels of a tremendous mountain top experience (literally) with God in which he was victorious over the prophets of the false god Baal. Elijah’s faith was strong, and God had shown Himself powerful when He rained fire down upon Elijah’s sacrifice. But no sooner had Elijah celebrated the victory, than the wicked Jezebel made a vow to take his life. Elijah fled. Elijah isolated himself in the wilderness. And Elijah prayed that he might die. ‘It is enough; now, O LORD…’ But death remains in God’s hands, and Elijah’s day had not yet come. God provided rest. God provided food. God provided strength. And in due time, God provided His own Presence to sustain and restore Elijah.
The Prophet Jeremiah had a similar experience. He preached exactly what God told him to preach…and he got beaten and placed in the stocks for it. Some of his listeners hated him, some of his listeners made fun of him, and some even wanted to kill him. Jeremiah had enough, and cursed the day of his birth, wishing that he had been “killed before birth, so that my mother would have been my grave.” Jeremiah 20:17 But God’s plan was different. God sustained Jeremiah, and appointed him to faithfully preach a largely ignored message well into his eighties.
Moses, who was commissioned to lead over 600,000 Israelites, had no food to give them. They mourned. They complained. They pleaded. And Moses asked God to take his life. “So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once.” Numbers 11:15 (NASB) Once again, God proves faithful, saying that he will provide meat for all the people, but Moses argues. How are You going to do that God? Are you going to give us every fish in the sea? Are You going to slaughter every animal on the planet? There are 600,000 of us…and we have NO FOOD. What’s Your plan God?
Have you ever asked that question? What’s Your plan God? Because from my perspective, it looks like I’m doomed. From my perspective nothing is going right. From my perspective….I can only say, “It is enough O Lord….please take my life.”
God’s answer to Moses is an incredible reminder of where our faith must rest. God’s answer to Moses is an answer to ANYONE facing a crisis. God’s answer to Moses, is an answer for YOU and I as well. “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Is the LORD'S power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.” Numbers 11:23 (NASB) In Hebrew, God literally said, “Is The Lord’s Hand Short?” It’s as though God said, “I don’t care if there’s 600 BILLION people Moses….I’m GOD!...AND I CAN PROVIDE.” And provide He did.
As Christians, plodding along in a world that so often opposes us…we need constant reminders of GOD’S ABSOLUTE POWER….and GOD’S PERFECT FAITHFULNESS to use His power for our good (Romans 8:28). So often we encounter circumstances that seem completely hopeless….Yet there is ALWAYS hope, when your GOD is the LORD. Even The Apostle Paul faced circumstances so overwhelming that he “despaired, even of life itself.” (2 Corinthians 1:8) Yet God allowed those circumstances “So that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9)
Our trust in God is never risky. God is always faithful to execute His perfect plan. The fact that we don’t know what that plan is…..or don’t particularly like the way God is carrying it out, is irrelevant. Sometimes we want to live….and God lets us die. Other times we want to die, and God makes us continue living. Sometimes we pray for things, and then complain when we receive them. Other times God gives us what we never thought to ask for, and we take it for granted. Some days we’re filled with joy….other days we’re broken with despair. But, even when the dark clouds move into our soul, we must cling to what is good. And take comfort in the fact that God is clinging to us. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give eternal life to them; and they shall never perish, and no one shall pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28) As it’s been said, even on the darkest and cloudiest of days…the sun is still shining as bright as it ever did…just beyond the clouds.
‘It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life.” (1 Kings 19:4)
“Is the Lord’s Power limited?” (Numbers 11:23)
“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail, And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold, And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NASB)