I find it distressing that folks who are grieving are condemned and accused of self-pity. I have been researching many teachings today on the web because I am having a day in which I am bedridden. After extremely painful spasms in my hands, legs, and feet last night, I have had to slow down and take the necessary time to rest. I don’t want to have these limitations because there is still so much to do after my ceiling fell in last week from a broken pipe. However, things are what they are and I have to acknowledge my limitations.
I have found numerous teachings accusing Elijah of sinning in ‘self-pity’. Well, if he was indulging in such and was sinning in doing so, why didn’t God rebuke him? Where do these ‘assumptions’ come from and why are they preached/taught? Does anyone actually read the Scriptures? Does anyone actually seek God on such matters? I decided to read 1 Kings 19 for myself to see where I could find Elijah was guilty of self-pity, and sinning in doing so.
Elijah was frightened. Jezebel was out to get him and via a messenger let him know that he would be killed. So, Elijah fled. Now, my first question is: If someone threatened to kill you, would you just hang around waiting for it to happen? It seems to me that Elijah did the wise thing by fleeing someone who was trying to kill him. Now Elijah went ‘a day’s journey’ in his flight. They didn’t have motorcars in those days; Elijah walked/ran for an entire day for fear of his life. By the time he had reached his destination, he had to have been exhausted and extremely hungry. He despaired of life itself as Paul, Jeremiah, and others all had at some point. Yes, many of these great prophets and church leaders despaired, cursed the day they were born, and desired to die. Were they all guilty of ‘self-pity’? Perhaps. But focusing in this article on Elijah, lets take a look at God’s response.
After Elijah prayed to die, he fell asleep. What did God do? He sent an Angel…with food and water…for Elijah. After Elijah received some nourishment, he once again fell asleep. Now what does God do? He sends an Angel again with more food and water which must have been some sort of super meal because after this second dining experience it says: “and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place”. God then asks him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah states his case of how he has been a good guy doing all the right things and then states: “I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” It would appear that this is where these modern day preachers/teachers decide to lower the boom on Elijah and accuse him of sinning by feeling sorry for himself.
So, for the sake of debate, let’s say that Elijah is suffering from some self-pity. Does the Lord now rebuke him? Punish him? Get angry with him? After all, isn’t that what most would expect from God in response to sin if Elijah was in fact sinning? No! First, God speaks to him in a ‘still small voice’. God then asks him again: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” still with no condemnation. To which Elijah responds once again with a brief litany of his righteous acts. What God does next is to assure Elijah of the victories that lay ahead. God encourages him by letting him know that he is, in fact, not alone and that there are 7,000 others just like him. At this point, Elijah leaves and eventually meets up with Elisha who faithfully walks alongside him and becomes Elijah’s servant.
A number of events take place and then we find that Ahab who has done many wicked things spurred on by his wife the Queen of Wickedness, Jezebel herself, meets up with Elijah in chapter 21. Ahab repents and is spared, but not so his descendants. Jezebel was turned over to the dogs…literally. Elijah continues on as a great prophet of the Lord and victories ensue. As we jump ahead to 2 Kings 2, we see how God greatly rewards Elijah. Elijah does not see death. Instead, after he passes on to Elisha a double anointing, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appear and Elijah is caught up in a whirlwind.
I am not writing about this to encourage self-pity. I am doing so to refute those that condemn others who are feeling self-pity when they have suffered arduous circumstances through no fault of their own. It is no wonder to me why folks have such a distorted understanding of Who God is and what He is like. It is of necessity that we seek God’s Truth and Him in His Word directly. Not all teachers/preachers distort God’s Word and misrepresent Who He is. However, many do whether intentionally or not. God never rebuked, punished, distanced Himself from Elijah for his ‘self-pity’, if in fact he was guilty of such as many proclaim. When Elijah ran for fear of his life, prayed to die, defended himself directly to God…God fed him, encouraged him, placed a powerful anointing on him, and even saved him from physical death. God is Love and full of Compassion/Pity!
Romans 8: (KJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728 Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Also, see a more complete list at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))