Posted by: Pauline | September 30, 2018

Scriptures for Sunday October 7

1 Kings 19:1-8

We aren’t told in this passage why Elijah is at such a low point that he wants to die. Physical and emotional exhaustion probably had a lot to do with it. Perhaps also he is discouraged because, despite the dramatic victory of God over Baal on Mount Carmel, and the slaughter of the priests of Baal, nothing really seems to have changed. Ahab and Jezebel are still ruling the country, and Jezebel’s threat to have him killed would surely have been carried out if he had not run, literally, for his life.

God’s initial response is neither to rebuke nor to encourage Elijah, but to provide him with food, and by that provision, evidence that God is still there and God still cares for him. The food is not merely to comfort him and bring back his strength, but to prepare him for what comes next, because God is not done with Elijah.

Mark 1:12-13

In our society, the word wilderness is often associated with adventure, travel (often in an RV), and the opportunity to conquer it – or at least a little piece of it. People head out into the wilderness to enjoy its beauty, to escape into an environment considered “pure” because it is untouched by humans, or to prove their ability to survive and be self-sufficient.

People in Bible times did not generally head into the wilderness voluntarily, unless it was to escape even greater danger. Much of our “wilderness” is forested land, but the wilderness in their land was largely barren, uninhabited because it offered very little that would support life. Many people in the Bible had wilderness experiences, and emerged from them stronger, but this was not because they had proved their self-sufficiency, but because they found themselves in a place where they were not sufficient at all, and found that in their desperate need, God provided for them.


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