1 Kings, Chapter 19

- ה ז י -

Elijah Flees to the Desert and Enters a Cave

Following the killing of the prophets of Baal, Queen Jezebel demands that Elijah be put to death. Elijah flees to the desert. Along the way, an angel of God lifts his broken spirit and gives him food. The prophet walks for 40 days until he reaches Mount Horeb (Sinai), where he takes refuge inside a cave. God inquires about the purpose of this pilgrimage. Elijah complains about his solitude and the victory of idolatry over monotheism across Israel. This incident is reminiscent of Moses’ ascent to Mount Sinai; both prophets strive to help Israel thrive and merit divine blessing.

In response to his grievances, God sends Elijah to anoint three men who will work to eradicate the worship of Baal: Hazael, who is to become king of Aram; Jehu, who is to become the next king of Israel; and Elisha, who will eventually become the prophet of the next generation. Elijah executes this last instruction first, by casting his cloak on Elisha. The two additional tasks will be carried out later. In his direst of times, wallowing alone in a cave, Elijah manages to connect with his Creator and the divine sparks feeding his soul. Our hearts can only shine if we open them.

“Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying… and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time” (1 Kings 19:2)

“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” (1 Kings 19:10)

Mental strengths are the inner resources providing us with the strength necessary to face obstacles and challenges.