READ : 1 Kings 19:1-8
He saw . . . and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life.” (vv. 3-4, nkjv)
If the last picture in yesterday’s reading was memorable yet puzzling, so is the first one in today’s. In the most careful translations, Elijah does not so much “fear” Jezebel (v. 3) as “see” that her power and Ahab’s is still unbroken in spite of recent events. So like Moses before him and Jesus after him (forty days and forty nights in wild and holy places, remember?), he heads into the wilderness not just to get away from Jezebel but to meet with God and his angels. His time in the wilderness will turn out to be hugely significant.
Elijah reckons his life’s work is done. Now God will be appointing others to carry the plan forward.
Elijah had it half right. God gives each of his servants a job interwoven with the work of all the others, and handed on in due course to someone else. But the weary prophet was to learn that his slice of the action was not yet over. Some translations of verse 4 say, not “Take away my life,” but “Take my life.” Elijah would find himself giving his own words a sense he had not intended. To adapt the famous hymn, “Take my life, and let it be reconsecrated, Lord, to thee.”
Here I am, Lord, ready for whatever you have lined up next for me.