Jezebel threatens to kill Elijah for killing her Baal prophets, so he flees to the wilderness where an angel fixes him bread baked on hot stones and provides a jar of water. Elijah is not impressed with the miracle, and he escapes back to his sleep of depression. The angel wakes him again and feeds and waters him again, then sends him to the mountain of God. Elijah is still not impressed.
God asks Elijah what he’s doing there. He replies that he has eagerly served God, forgetting that he’s running away from a woman at the moment. He tells God the Israelites have abandoned Him, torn down His altars, and executed His prophets, neglecting to mention how they just proclaimed Him to be God on Mount Carmel. He tells God he’s the only one left, even though Obadiah told him about hiding one hundred prophets. He tells God “they” are trying to take his life when it’s only Jezebel. He’s gone from mighty prophet challenging the world to a coward hiding from a woman and he’s gotten stuck there.
God tells Elijah to stand in front of Him on the mountain, but for the first time Elijah doesn’t obey immediately. There’s a fierce wind, and earthquake, a fire, but Elijah is not impressed. Not until Elijah hears the “small whisper” of a voice does he go out to stand at the entrance of the cave, which still isn’t fully obedient to “go out on the mountain”. Elijah is at the entrance to the cave, not out on the mountain. He’s ready to run and hide again if he needs to. Elijah has lost his fear of God – he no longer obeys immediately or completely. Elijah has lost his enthusiasm for God – he’s no longer passionate about serving and honoring Him. Elijah has lost his love and respect for God – it’s all about Elijah now.
The small whisper of a voice gives Elijah another chance and asks the same question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah is stuck in his self-pity and repeats his first answer word for word. He’s forgotten who God is and what He can do. His trust and courage have left him, so God gives him final instructions which include anointing his successor. The last thing God tells Elijah is that He still has 7,000 people in Israel who have not worshipped Baal. And Elijah was convinced he was the only one left and everyone was against him!
Beware of self-pity and self-focus lest God take away what He planned for you and give it to someone else.