Cropped photo from tsheko on Flickr.
By Lisa Nordell-Detres
Elijah is my favorite prophet from the Bible for many reasons, but here are the top three characteristics that endear Elijah to my heart.
First of all, Elijah boldly stood up for God at a time in Israel’s history when it looked as if he was the only one left who would. King Ahab and his queen Jezebel (ring any bells?) were in power and one of the first things they did was to round up all the Jewish priests who served God and slaughter them. No wonder Elijah felt so alone! Elijah told Ahab that there would be a severe drought in Israel because of Ahab’s wicked decisions.
Secondly, Elijah listened to God. One of the key concepts in the 1 Kings account of Elijah is that “the word of the LORD came to Elijah.” Each time this is stated in the passage, Elijah listened and more importantly, he obeyed; he acted according to God’s instructions.
How many times in our lives are we prompted to do something that we know is the right thing to do, but we are too busy, too afraid or too self-involved to carry out our orders? We will delve deeper into the art of hearing God later, but think about this question in the meantime.
The third quality about Elijah that I find intriguing is that this man of God suffered from depression. The important thing to remember about Elijah’s depression is that while he did withdraw from people when he was depressed, he never withdrew from God. Even at his lowest moment in 1 Kings 19:4, Elijah cried out to God. OK, he did ask God to kill him right then, but he sought God even in the depths of despair and left the actions to God. Knowing Elijah’s state, God sent an angel to tend to Elijah’s physical needs while he recuperated.
If you read on about the life of Elijah, not only did God not kill him then, God never did allow Elijah to see death, but rather took him straight to heaven! Remember to seek God at all times, especially when all seems to be lost. God be with you!
Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.
Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.