God sends Elijah, one of the greatest prophets, and one of the most severe droughts at the time of one of the greatest spiritual crisis in the history of Israel. The Bible tells us that after the great spiritual success at Mt Carmel, Elijah is in the pits of discouragement, depression with sucidal thoughts. Why? What does God do for the depressed and suicidal Elijah? Also, What do we learn about people (ourselves) from Carmel experience? What do we learn about God from this experience? 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” 1. What Does God Do For the Depressed and Suicidal Elijah? There are three things we find God doing for Elijah: He Helps Him in a Very Practical “Hands on” Way He Meets Him at Horeb He Teaches Him 1. He Helps Him in a Very Practical Way “All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked around and there by his head was a cake of bread over hot coals, and 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.” God gives him to eat and let's him have a good sleep. There is no counselling or lecturing. It's hands on practical help. 2. He Meets Elijah at Horeb However, God let's him first experience the ferociousness of wind and earthquke before He meets Elijah by a 'still small voice. Wind, earthquake and fire but God is them. God did send wind and earthquake but He Himself was not in them. He was in a . So, god gave Elijah rest. He counselled him. He sent him to work. 2. What Do We Learn About People From the Experience of Carmel? First, what do we learn about people or ourselves and Secondly what do we learn about God? 1. What Do We Learn About People (Ourselves)? The problem with Elijah was that He held two extreme views of human nature: Too Positive Too Negative 1. Too Positive Elijah was convinced that the amazing display of God's power at Mt Carmel would be enough to turn the hearts of people to God and good moral life. However, this was not going to be the case. It simply did not happen. As a result Elijah was devastated. He became depressed and suicidal as a result. Elijah's view of sin was too . He thought that in essence humans are ok. They just need the something to make a turn around in their lives and they would be fine. However, Elijah had to experience a rude awakening in realtion to human nature and sin. 2. Too Negative From one extreme Elijah goes to the other one: He says, ‘I am the only one who remains faithful to you.’ But this is not the case. God says to him, 'There are at least 7000 people who also serve me.' You see it's our pride which make us go to these two extremes. 3. What Do We Learn About God? What is God's message relating to earthquake, wind and fire? Why is God contrasting violent and powerful events with ‘still, small voice’? There are at least three lessons we can learn about God through these: 1. Mt Carmel was all about wind, earthquake and fire but God is not in it. Although a very powerful event which left people at awe it did not change people's lives. Mt Carmel was all aboud undeniable miracle which appeals to senses but does not last. God can always ‘Mt Carmel miracle’ but He is not in it. We ecnounter Him in a still small voice. A still small voice is the way God touches our hearts. 2. Wind, earthquake and fire is and instrument of God's judgment but a still small voice is an instrument of His grace. The way God deals with us is through His ‘still small voice’. Secondary way God deals with us is through judgement. The second way is God's 'unusual' way or ‘strange’ way (Martin Luther). God's primary way is to bring salvation and grace and through Jesus he took upon Himself the judgment.