Elijah At Horeb
1 Kings 19:9-18
And he came thither to a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, What do you here…


1. Elijah's mistake. Because Jezebel's enmity remained unsubdued the straggle was at once given over as hopeless; "and he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there." The same mistake is made by those who labour on with unexpectant toil, whose wrestling with God is given up, whose feeble thought and listless tones proclaim their hopelessness: by those who have laid down the work to which God called them - preachers in retirement or in other spheres, teachers, etc. - and those who have ceased to strive against their own sin.

2. God's remedy.

(1) The heart is searched. "What doest thou here, Elijah?" A prophet in the desert? A living man illumined with the light of the knowledge of God, a companion of reeks and stones and solitude; and death and sin crying to be visited with the rebuke of God, and hearts fainting for lack of His light and consolations? Was it for this God endowed and called thee? A word for those who have left the vineyard; for those who have not yet entered; for the worldly and the sinful. To hear this voice is preparation for entering the path of life and of service. Till it be heard there is no possibility of either.

(2) Unbelief is unveiled. When God's voice is heard, and the reasons for the wilderness flight are named, it is seen that He has been shut out of sight. He mentions his own zeal, and Israel's sin, but of God there is nothing said. It is unbelief alone which can kill prayer and earnest, hopeful toil. It was only when Peter ceased to gaze on Jesus that the stormy waves engulfed him. If we are in the wilderness, forgetfulness of God has set us there.


1. The vision of God. Elijah's thoughts of God's way were corrected.

(1) God was not in the whirlwind, or the earthquake, or the fire. What had failed to turn Israel and subdue Jezebel was not what was really God's power unto salvation, but what Elijah erroneously conceived to he this. We despair because certain methods, influences, arguments fail; but they can only fail because God is not in them.

(2) God was in the still small voice that awoke within the heart. The power which now held and searched the prophet's own soul was the manifestation of what was power for the souls of others.

2. The recognition of ourselves as only part of the manifold agency of God. Other hands as well as his were to carry on the work of judgment and of mercy (vers. 15-17). To feel our brotherhood with the servants of God fills us with joy and power.

3. The assurance that God never works in vain (ver. 18). The results may be hid from us, but they are known to Him. - J.U.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

WEB: He came there to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of Yahweh came to him, and he said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

Doest Thou Here?
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