Elijah had just won a showdown with the prophets of Baal. 450 prophets of Baal gathered on top of mount Carmel to challenge Elijah’s God to a public display of power. Whoever won the contest was the true God. The prophets cried from morning till evening cutting themselves with knives, spilling their blood on the altar, invoking baal to show up with fire to consume the sacrifice. But Baal did not show up. The sacrificed bull remained bleeding on the altar, covered with flies and the blood of the false prophets of baal.
Elijah built an altar with twelve stones, placed the wood upon it in order, cut the sacrifice on it, dug a hole around the altar and filled it with water, then he prayed and asked God to consume the sacrifice with fire from heaven, and God did.
Elijah ordered all the prophets of baal to be slain. Not one of them escaped.
Jezebel heard about the slaughter of the prophets of baal and she went completely crazy. She threatened Elijah and the prophet ran for his life. Interesting how he just finished confronting and destroying 450 false prophets of baal but couldn’t stand against one woman. Jezebel’s reputation for extraordinary wickedness preceded her. Elijah knew that if he didn’t heed her threat he was as good as dead. So he fled.
1 Kings 19:1-3
And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
Elijah ran to Beersheba where he had an angelic encounter. He ate supernatural food provided by the angel and he went on the strength of that food for forty days until he arrived at Horeb, the mount of God. Then things began to unravel for him.
1 Kings 19:10
And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts:for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
Elijah told God that the children of Israel had forsaken His covenant, destroyed sacred altars, murdered all the prophets and he was the only one left and they also wanted to murder him. He repeated this twice to God in the same chapter.
But it wasn’t true. He was living inside a bubble of self deception and pride.
That was the Elijah complex. Continue reading