So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. 1Kings 19:13-19
After forty days of silence, Elijah heard God’s still small voice asking him why he was in hiding. Elijah was sad and discouraged that despite his zeal, he had not seen the fruit of his labor. He was afraid of Jezebel who had threatened to kill him. He also felt all alone as a righteous prophet of God. The Lord did not join his pity party but gave him several instructions that were going to be the answer to his distressing situations.
God told him to return to where he came from. Elijah had unfinished business to take care of. This would require faith and courage to return to a hostile place.
The Lord instructed Elijah to anoint Hazael as king over Syria.
He needed to anoint Jehu as king of Israel.
He was also going to anoint Elisha as his successor.
Finally, God told him that there were seven thousand Israelites who loved Him and were consecrated to the Lord. Elijah was not alone in serving the Lord.
While Elijah did not anoint Hazael and Jehu to be the future kings of Syria and Israel respectively, He did place his mantle on Elisha as the next prophet. In due time, Elisha anointed Hazael and Jehu to be the future kings of their respective countries.
These were important steps that changed everything for Elijah. In time, the Lord’s instructions resolved all of Elijah’s issues. Elijah was able to mentor Elisha and release the ministry to his capable hands by passing on the baton to this man of God. Furthermore, Elijah was concerned that the Israelites had walked away from the Lord, and they were worshipping others gods. God used Hazael, a disdainful king, to punish the Israelites for their disobedience. Finally, Elijah had fled because he was afraid of Jezebel who had been terrorizing his life. God blessed Elijah by not allowing Jezebel to touch him, and he was taken up to heaven by a chariot of fire (See 2Kings 2). The Lord also placed King Jehu as the future king of Israel who became instrumental in killing Jezebel.
The Lord has amazing and unexpected ways to resolve our problems. Sometimes it looks like the issues will never go away, but God is behind the scenes putting it all in place. He plans the steps that will bring about the breakthroughs in our lives and resolve the issues so much better than we can ever think or imagine!
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1Peter 5:7
If there are issues today that seem unresolvable, cast your cares on the Lord! You don’t have to carry the burden. The Lord knows, and He cares about your problems. He is working on them. It may take a while before you see the resolution of the situation, but trust God that He is at work. Allow His peace and joy to fill your life. Go about living your life and doing the things that you have the privilege of doing today. When He gives you instructions obey Him. Someday, you’ll look back and see the situations resolved better than you expected.