Ted Dahlman, post 2 of 4. He likes super heroes.
Most parents think their kids are the cutest in the world. They are wrong. My kid is*. Every day she does something cuter than she did the day before. One cute thing about her is how independent she is. For instance, we started brushing her teeth as soon as she got them, and she hated it. We finally figured out it was because she wanted to do it herself.
That works for some people, like Frank Sinatra. Others, like Ant-Man**, realizing that most problems are too big to face alone, gather teams of super heroes, like the Avengers. Lately, I’ve tried to go it alone academically. It hasn’t worked out so well for me, meaning I’m now basically required to study in my sleep. Most of us are not as smart as Ant-Man, or as singularly awesome as Frank Sinatra***. Most people prefer to do things on their own, rather than leaning on others as Bill Withers suggested. Take Elijah, for instance.
In 1 Kings 18 Elijah scored a major victory for the LORD, and seemed on the verge of single-handedly (with only God on his side) restoring the true faith to Israel. In Chapter 19, however, he receives a death threat from the queen, so he ran and hid. He had hit bottom.
4 … He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
The angel of the LORD then helped Elijah to Horeb, the mountain of God.
9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
As mentioned in Part One, commentators Joel Marcus and David Garland tell us the verbs translated as “pass by” or “pass in front of” are used in Scripture to denote a theophany. God sometimes gave the gift of His presence to particular people for particular purposes.
After the LORD passed by, He repeated His question, and Elijah repeated His answer. God gave Elijah political allies, and a successor to train (Elisha). By the way, He also mentioned…
18 “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
You are not alone. God is here with you. In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). When we acknowledge His presence, we receive His joy, as Elijah did. This joy empowers us to do God’s work as it did for Elijah.
However, joy also comes from being with God’s people. We are not made to be alone. Don’t believe me? Ask Adam what it was like without Eve. I have to wonder whether Elijah would have fled if he had had a partner in ministry (Philippians 1:3-5, 2 John 1:12) like Elisha when he received the death threat.
I don’t do well on my own. At the very least, I need feedback from others. I get blind to my own weaknesses and mistakes. I probably won’t even notice this typoe. Some projects or tasks may be of no interest to others.
Your spiritual life is. In my opinion, the church exists in large part to meet the needs of its members. I know when we lost my dad, I couldn’t have survived without my church families in the States and elsewhere.
What are you facing these days? There are about two billion Christians in this world. Can you think of one or two that might be willing to help? Can you think of one or two you could help?
It’s getting somewhat frightening. I expect the cuteness to cause the end of the world sometime in 2012. Hopefully not before The Avengers makes it into theatres*.
Don’t make fun, he’s awesome. He built a helmet that lets him talk to ants. Did you**?
Even he had the Rat Pack, though. By the way, can you think of anyone else with an Oscar for acting, and both an Oscar and a Grammy for songs? How awesome is that***?