Thursday 23rd September 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-8 Elijah’s Eyesight
God has bee protecting Elijah, and after the prophets of Baal were killed and the rain came down, God gave Elijah strength to run away from all temptation. We should always focus on God instead of ourselves, no matter how much we have done or how big the miracles God performs through us, we should not let the attention come to ourselves but let God be the Centre. God rules and reigns and God protects us.
Ahab saw the prophets of Baal and Asherah failed, and people’s hearts turned back to Jehovah God. A great miracle happened in front of Ahab’s eyes, but when he told his wife Jezebel about what happened, she saw the whole thing from a negative perspective. Ahab treated his wife Jezebel as his god, after experienced the miracle, he only wanted to report everything to Jezebel in seeking her feedback on what to do next, and Jezebel only saw the people she lost. Do we see ourselves or others more than we should? Ahab had the spirit of fear, he was unwilling to take the responsibility as the king and as the head of the household, whereas Jezebel had the controlling spirit. Instead of seeing the Work of God, Jezebel wanted to kill Elijah.
When Elijah found out that Jezebel was coming after him, he ran away for his life. Not only Elijah ran away, but he also brought his servants and left them at Beersheba, which belongs to Judah. His servants experienced the miracle together with Elijah, and Elijah could have used their experience to disciple and train his servants in building up faith in God. But when Elijah only saw Jezebel in fear, he left everything and everyone. We often see ourselves or others more than we see God, we care about if we are doing things according to our own plans, and we worry that if what we do can’t achieve the goals we desire.
Everything Elijah did was from God, every word Elijah spoke by faith was from God, no matter if he was at the widow’s house, or in front of the people of Israel. Elijah could not do anything by himself, without God he could do nothing. It’s easy for us to lose ourselves in the ministry and fail to see God’s hands at work. When the problems in our hearts are not dealt with, then we will not see God, instead we will put our focus on ourselves. Of course, Jezebel would not be able to fight against our Great Almighty God, but at the time Elijah only saw danger, problem, hardship, challenges… he only saw Jezebel, he didn’t see God.
Elijah felt he was the victim, despite of all the things he had done for Ahab and for Israel, Ahab still didn’t turn back to God. Elijah did not see God in his life, so he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” If Elijah really knew God, then he would not run away from Jezebel. Elijah did not live under the Tree of Life, he was in a depressed mode and a doing mode.
When he was about to give up on his life, an angel came and brought water and food for him. He ate, drank, and lied down again, even though he knew God was with him, but he still chose to stay in his misery. So God gave him a second chance, the angel came and brought food again. This time the angel said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So Elijah arose and walked for forty days and forty nights. God gave us blessings, but so often we used God’s provisions to fulfill our flesh desires. We must have the eyesight of God, see God’s hands with us, step out from our comfort zone and self-pity, and focus on where God wants us to go.
Section Two V9-14 Elijah’s Blindness
Elijah went to Horeb, the mountain of God. But stand of going up to the mountain, he found a cave and hid. What was his attitude? Even though he followed God’s instructions he still chose to hide in the cave. When we are finally at the mountain of God, do we still have the attitude of doing and hide in the cave? God’s Word came to Elijah and said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” God is asking us the same question, what are we doing here at the morning devotion and at Sunday Service? God is talking to us every day, what is our attitude? How do we respond?
The way Elijah responded to God was aggressive and full of anger, he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” When we focus too much on ‘doing’, we make ourselves god and we overtake our authority. We should know that we are only vessels for God, and being a vessel is full of blessings, because God will work through us without us trying hard and using up all our strength.
God was merciful despite of all the negative comments Elijah made. God said to Elijah, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” When Elijah finally came out from the cave, he experienced great wind, earthquake, and fire, but God was not in there. What we expected is often not what God intended, God was actually in the small voice. We should not use our own expectation to build idols for ourselves, instead when we fully focus on God then we will be able to encounter Him. Elijah took off his cloak, which represented his identity as a prophet. Are we also willing to come out from the cave, let go of our own identity and be humble before God?
Section Three V15-21 God’s Providence
Again, God asked Elijah what he was doing there, but Elijah gave the same answer. He was still in blindness, and he was still unwilling to come out from his misery. But God still use Elijah as His vessel, He gave Elijah instructions to anoint Hazael as king over Syria and Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. God was breaking off all the structured mindset inside Elijah, He also told Elijah to anoint Elisha to succeed him as the prophet. God wanted Elijah to know that He is the God, who provides. God is testing Elijah’s faith, and how did Elijah respond? He went to Elisha and put his honorable cloak on Elisha. Elijah no longer held onto his identity, he realized that it was never him, who performed all the miracles, but God. God has the authority to choose who He wants to raise up. Can we let go of our identity, to be in the place God wants us to be?
Without Elijah saying anything, Elisha responded and followed. He had a simple heart, and he didn’t need any reason to follow. Furthermore, Elisha took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Elisha destroyed what he used to make his living and showed people his determination to follow God and never turn back. Under the Tree of Life, we seek to humble, to obey, to deny ourselves and to benefit others. Can we really see God in our lives and simply follow Him?
Worship: 一顆謙卑的心 A Humble Heart https://youtu.be/qGOe6ssGKeQ
Prayer & Pursuit
God is here talking to us, so often we don’t see God, we only see the world and we only see ourselves. We see what we want to see, and we fail to see God rules and reigns in our lives. We become fearful of losing, of lacking, and of how others think of us. Let us pray together and see how God has provided for us all the way!
V10 以利亚义愤填膺地回答耶和华。“大发热心”的原文是愤恨，出自申命记32:16“敬拜别神，触动神的愤恨；行可憎恶的事，惹了他的怒气”- 这“愤恨”是属于耶和华的，但以利亚如此说，就是将自己变成神了。我们要小心，不要做太多把自己变成神或者主任牧师。求神给我们智慧，能适可而止。我们是否愿意成为神的器皿，被人使用？如果我们看自己大过我们所当看的，不想让人看到我们只是一个器皿，这就很危险。在神国里面，能成为器皿，是最有恩典的。神会借着他的话语将教会当走的路告诉我们。
V11-12 神让以利亚走出山洞，到他面前。有些人出了山洞后还是只看到自己，神要人出了山洞到山上与他相遇。在以利亚面前“有烈风大作，崩山碎石”- 因他的生命要被神破碎。“风后地震，…地震后有火”，神却都不在其中。神只是在火后给以利亚“微小的声音”，他就听见了。神不一会按照我们的方式对我们说话，但他已经给我们那微小的声音。
V13 “以利亚听见，就用外衣蒙上脸” – 他脱下了做先知的外袍，意思是将自己的先知身份在神面前放下来，又“蒙上脸”，因为神的光之荣耀。我们在神的山上，是否还是躲在洞里，还是愿意走出山洞，放下自己觉得尊贵的身份，承认神的荣耀？
V15-17 虽然看到以利亚的问题，神还是怜悯他，让以利亚去大马士革。以利亚的生命还没有到成熟的地步，但神仍然使用他。神指示以利亚去膏立亚兰王、以色列王，并且让他去膏接续自己做先知的以利沙- 这一切打破以利亚生命里所有的框框，包括他的逻辑思考、规条、甚至任性。神在借这个机会训练以利亚，让他看到神是预备一切的神。
V19-20 以利亚见到以利沙，”将自己的外衣搭在他身上” – 这是一件代表他先知身份尊荣的外袍。以利沙是一个属神的人，立刻回应以利亚说要跟随他。以利亚也改变了，说“我向你做了什么呢？”这件外袍不再是以利亚要紧紧抓住的东西，他看自己并没有做什么了不起的事。我们是否愿意谦卑放下自己，神放我们在哪里我们就去那里？
V21 以利亚其实都没有亲口叫以利沙来跟随他，但以利沙很单纯，定意跟随以利亚。我们很容易说要跟随神，但我们是否会跟随神给我们的权柄？以利沙不仅宰了曾经赖以耕种的牛，表明自己不再走回头路，又“用套牛的器具煮肉给民吃”- 这“民”就是他的家人、父老乡亲。我们是否愿意在周围人面前表明自己跟随神的心意？以利亚并没有应许给以利沙什么好处，但以利沙看到以利亚背后的神。以利亚会被以利沙接续，是因为自己没有看见神。生命树的气息就是高举神，谦卑自己。神就在这里，我们愿意谦卑看见吗？