Laying Under The Broom Bush With A Prophet

1 Kings 19:1-9 (NIV)

 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.


Sometimes life’s circumstances are too much for us to handle.  In 1 Kings 18, Elijah is strong.  He taunts the 450 prophets of Baal as their god would not answer them.  His faith and confidence in the Lord Almighty was at an all-time high.  He knew that God was going to answer his prayer.  He had seen God’s miraculous hand in action. Yet, when the wicked queen Jezebel had heard about what had happened to the prophets of Baal, she was furious and vowed to kill Elijah.  Elijah knew that she meant business, so he fled in fear.  He had been so bold and now he was so afraid.  He was tired.  He laid down under a broom bush and as he fell asleep, he began to pray.  The man who had once prayed fervently for it not to rain and for the sacrifice to be consumed, now prayed with resignation as he said, “I have had enough, Lord.  Take my life…” (1 Kings 19:4, NIV).

Sometimes we come to the broom bushes of our lives.  We feel overwhelmed by life’s circumstances.  We worry and we fret over relationships that are failing and finances that are running out.  We get stressed out over our jobs, our children, our friends and everything else under the sun.  We’ll sometimes feel like we’re on top of a mountain and so close to God.  Then, before we know it, we feel like we’re in the Grand Canyon and God feels a thousand miles away.  What do we do when we’re laying under the broom bush pining for God to end our lives?  We listen to the Word of the Lord.

1 Kings 19 says that the word of the Lord came to Elijah and said to get up and eat.  He laid down again.  The word came to him a second time and told him to get up and eat because the journey was too much for him.  Let’s face it, the journey is too much for us.  We can’t make it on our own.  We need God’s Word and God’s Spirit to give us strength for the journey.  When we are at our weakest, Jesus makes us strong.  When we are in the midst of depression and fear, Jesus calms our hearts.  When we are overcome and overwhelmed by the pressures of life, Jesus eases the burden.  I pray that if you’re laying under the broom bush today that God’s Word will come to you and strengthen you.  The journey may feel like it is too much for you and it probably is.  That’s why God is there.  He knows that it is too much for you and He wants to strengthen you and lead you on the journey home.

PRAYER:  Lord God, this journey is too much for me to take by myself.  Please go with me today that I might be strengthened by Your presence and by Your Spirit.  I can’t make it without You.  I need You.  Amen.


1 Response to “Laying Under The Broom Bush With A Prophet”

  1. 12.31.2009 at 10:41 AM

    What a great word! Thanks! I’m wrestling with quitting; I’m stuck in a job that’s more dangerous than the last one where I was injured for months. I daily pray for focus, safety, concentration.

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