The hiding place

The hiding place

 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”

 3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. – 1 Kings 19:2-3

1 Kings 19:3-15

 3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there.

 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

 5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!”

 6 He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

 7 Then the angel of the LORD came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”

 8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.

 9 There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the LORD said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

 10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

 15 Then the LORD told him, “Go back the same way you came.”

The Hiding Place was first published in 1971. The movie was made in 1975. The Hiding Place is a story about a Christian family who risked their own lives to save as many Jewish people as they could from being captured and exterminated by the Nazis during World War II.

Corrie ten Boom was an old-maid watchmaker living contentedly with her spinster sister and their elderly father in a tiny Dutch house over their shop. Their uneventful days revolved around their abiding love for one another. During WWII when the Nazis invaded and occupied Holland, Corrie ten Boom and her family became leaders in the Dutch Underground.

Their tiny home became a hiding place for Jewish people trying to escape from the Nazis. They built a special room for them to hide in. Everything went well, until it did not. They were found out and caught hiding Jews. Corrie and her sister Betsie were sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Their strong Christian faith allowed them to endure the horrific hardships that followed. Eventually all of the family members died except Corrie ten Boom.

Many of the Father’s children have had mountaintop experiences. For Elijah, Mount Carmel was just that. He experienced the mighty power of God. He saw the Father answer his prayers with fire from heaven. He was given complete and total victory over his enemies. He was on top of the world. But, did that keep him going? Sadly no.

Often mountaintops are followed by deep valleys.

Psalms 94:22 The LORD is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.

The Father is really good at providing hiding places. He often provides B&Bs. The Father provided Elijah with one of the first B&B adventures.

REFLECT & PRAY

Lord usually leads His faithful people a step at a time as they tune their hearts to His Word. God didn’t give Elijah a three-year schedule to follow. Instead, He directed his servant at each critical juncture in his journey, and Elijah obeyed by faith (Weirsbe).

Father thank you that You have committed Yourself to me your undeserving child. You have invited me into Your forever family and will lead me wherever You want me to go.

INSIGHT

Visualize this scene. Picture Ahab whimpering and whining to his wife Jezebel. Perhaps Ahab began with something like this, “Jez honey, Elijah that old troublemaker was so mean to me. He made me look really bad when he called down fire from heaven. Yahweh answered his prayers, but my prophets were clueless. Then on top of that, all my prophets are now dead because of him. What am I going to do?”

Jezebel knew exactly what to do. A bit of smack talking.

Elijah had faced death and defeated all of his enemy combatants. But now Jezebel intimidates him with mere words and threats.

1 Kings 19:1-3

 1 When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal.

 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”

 3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there.

No doubt, Elijah was emotionally rung out and perhaps physically exhausted and ravenously hungry. He caves. Filled with fear, he ran for his life. He is depressed and while fleeing for his life, ironically wants to die (1 Kings 19:3-15).

His hiding place is a cave at Mount Sinai. This B&B is the best. Room service is made available. And he is supernaturally fed, but this time angel food is on the menu. On top of that he has a close encounter of the third kind with the Lord Himself. has a close encounter of the third kind with the Lord Himself.

The LORD said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9) It was a very awkward question at a time like this. Elijah pulls himself together and does what he was told. He goes out and hires an assistant, who in fact becomes his replacement, Elisha.

And what of Ahab and Jezebel? They had done great evil before the Lord. The Father never takes kindly to that.

1 Kings 21:25 No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the LORD’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel.

Things did not end well for them, as a matter fact, it probably could not have been much worse. They were doggedly pursued and killed. They suffered one final insult; their remains were eaten by dogs.

2 Kings 9:36-37

 36 “This fulfills the message from the LORD, which he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: ‘At the plot of land in Jezreel, dogs will eat Jezebel’s body.

 37 Her remains will be scattered like dung on the plot of land in Jezreel, so that no one will be able to recognize her.’”

The fact that Jezebel’s remains were scattered like dung provides an interesting segue into the meaning of her name, and a humorous play on words that was exploited. 

The original Hebrew Old Testament had only consonants when written, the vowels were supplied when it was read. The primary consonants of Jezebel’s name are ZBL. ZBL can be rendered as zebul – prince. Or they can be rendered zebel – dung. Undoubtedly folks from her hometown, Sidon, called her “Jezebul” meaning “where is the prince?” But the Hebrews would have mockingly called her “Jezebel,” that is, “where is the dung?” The answer of course was, scattered!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: