Enough Is Enough
“But he himself (Elijah) went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under s juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”1 Kings 19:4
Elijah the prophet had had enough. The LORD had brought a severe famine on Israel at his preaching. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel hated him, so he became a fugitive in the middle of the worst drought the land had experienced. After 3 and a half years of running, he returned to Mt. Carmel to challenge the idolatry of his nation.
In one day, God proved himself in a mighty and miraculous way, and thousands in Israel turned their hearts from Baal to the Lord, Jehovah. He protested the satanic ‘rain-dance’ of the Baalites from morning til evening. After they finally collapsed bloody and spent, Elijah built an altar to the LORD and single-handedly prepared a bullock for sacrifice. He briefly prayed, and fire fell from heaven. The people repented dramatically of their idolatry by bringing 400 black-hooded Baalite priests to the valley for Elijah to execute. After all of that, Elijah re-climbed Mt. Carmel to pray again, this time fervently. As the dark clouds formed, he sprinted down the mountain ahead of the royal horse-drawn chariot to Samaria. What a day!
And then it began to rain.
As he sat under the archway of the gate of Samaria listening to the raindrops fall, everything caught up with the lone prophet of Israel. He was exhausted. He had believed everything God had said, and yet there he sat, homeless, wet, cold, tired, and still alone. Just then a messenger of the king approached. The palace put a bounty on his head. He was not safe to rest even there. Elijah pulled together what was left of his strength, wrapped his thin mantle around his head and took off into the darkness and driving rain.
Elijah had had enough.
Have you ever just had enough of life? Enough of foolishness, of wickedness, of backstabbing and disappointments? Have you ever thought that death was better than life, and tried to end it all?
I’m glad God doesn’t always give us what we want. He sees the pain, the exhaustion, the mental pressures we face. He knows it’s ALOT. But you, like Elijah, can be renewed once again. Elijah’s greatest day was just ahead of him.
There was another awful day in Israel. The king at that time, David, had pushed the patience of the LORD to its limit. A pestilence was unleashed for three days on a guilty nation. Seventy thousand men lost their lives. How many more would have died, we will never know, because God compassionately stopped the destroying angel with these words:
“And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand… And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.”1 Chronicles 21:15a, 27
Elijah wanted it all to end, but God wasn’t done blessing him yet. David’s judgment should have continued, but God had mercy, and cut it short. God is far kinder to us than we deserve.
We don’t always know what’s best for us. I’m glad Someone cares about when enough is ENOUGH for me.