God Sustains Our Lives (1 Kings 19:4–5) - Radical

God Sustains Our Lives (1 Kings 19:4–5)

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree: and he asked that he might die saying, “It is enough; now, O, Lord, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers. And he laid down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.”
– 1 Kings 19:4–5

I think 1 Kings 19:4–5 are some of my favorite verses in the whole Old Testament. And the reason is, well, let me set the stage, Elijah in 1 Kings 18 calls down fire from heaven and sees God answer his prayer in a powerful way. He prays for rain and God provides it. And then at the beginning of 1 Kings 19, I think Elijah thought that at this point the people of God would be turning to the worship of God and things would be getting better.

God, we know that you are committed to provide everything we need to sustain our lives.

But in 1 Kings 19, it seems like they’re only getting worse and he’s again facing threats against his life. And so he runs. He runs away and he gets to this point, he sits down and he says, “It’s enough. Now, O, Lord, take away my life.” Like Elijah is ready for his life to end, not just his ministry, his life. He’s ready for it to be over.

And I read that and I think, if Elijah, this mighty prophet of God is not beyond getting to that point where he doesn’t even want to go on with life, none of us is beyond getting to that point. Right? You or I are not beyond getting to the point where we say, “I just don’t want to go on.” And what I love about these two verses or why I think they’re two of my favorite verses in the Old Testament is because God meets Elijah right at that point.

Even At Our Lowest, God Is Always With Us

Elijah is running away from God and God is running after Elijah. And He meets him at the lowest point in his life. Just says, Here’s some food I’m going to nourish you, provide you with what you need at this point. And you keep reading in 1 King’s 19, and God reveals himself to Elijah in a deeper, more beautiful way than he had ever seen or experienced before at this low point in his life. And I just want to pray this over anyone who is at this point right now. If you are at a low point in your life, and maybe even wondering if you want to go on in life, I want to pray this passage over you. And at the same time, I want to pray this passage over all of us, knowing none of us is beyond getting to this point.

1 Kings 19:4–5 Prays That God’s Spirit Walks Through Them

So, God, I pray right now for anyone who is in an Elijah like situation. 1 Kings 19:4–5, where they are at the end of themselves and potentially not even wanting to go on with life. God, I pray that they would know You are with them right now. That You love them. And that You are committed as God to providing everything they need to sustain their life. And to sustain their hope, and to sustain their joy, and to give them peace and nourishment. God that they would know that You are faithful to provide for all their needs. That they might experience life and that they might experience You, Oh God, in deeper, more beautiful ways than they have ever experienced before.

God, I pray that they would know that in their hearts. That they would even hear this prayer as Your spirit speaking to them through Your word, encouraging them to trust in You, to find nourishment that they need in You. And God, as I pray that for them, I pray that for all of us, for every single one of us, knowing that we’re not beyond getting to that point through fear, through depression, through circumstances in our lives that might lead us to despair of life. I think about Paul in 2 Corinthians 1, “We despair of life itself.”

1 Kings 19:4–5 Reminds Us That God Is Pursuing Us

God, we pray that in those moments that any of us might face, that we would remember this truth that You are pursuing us. And that Your mercy and goodness are running after us all the days of our lives. So that when we get to low points in our lives, You are right there with us. And that You are committed to helping us with everything we need. All glory, be to Your name, oh God, for never leaving us alone. For pursuing us to our deepest, darkest places and meeting us there and providing us with what we need. All glory be to your name.

We pray. Oh, God, I pray these verses over all who need them now. Also in the future, in Jesus’ name, in the name of the One who conquered death for us, that we might have a life forever with You. In Jesus’ name, I pray 1 Kings 19:4–5. Amen.

View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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