We tend to think of stress as a modern problem but Elijah, a man just like us, certainly knew what it was to run out of gas.
Suddenly a fiery dart from the enemy penetrated all his defences, and yesterday’s zeal was not enough to take him through today. He collapsed in the pressure and ran away. This rock-like figure who was able to withstand a whole nation suddenly had nothing more to give.
After encountering God’s incredible mercy, his running away becomes more purposefully focused on running to the rock Horeb where God had previously revealed His faithfulness to the nation. Believers need to be reminded not simply to seek ‘escape’ from their difficulties but to run with purpose to the covenant God who loves them and will reveal His faithfulness to them.
Elijah’s fresh meeting with God, like Simon Peter’s on Lake Galilee with the resurrected Christ, leads to total reinstatement, refreshment and fresh commissioning.
God’s covenant love never fails. The redeemed know who to run to. But what of those who don’t know Him? They can only try to escape the pressure. How they need also to find the rock of safety.