What is the hardest thing that God may ask his servant, his prophet, to do? I have been looking at Elijah. He was the prophet that God sent to confront the kingdom of Israel, the wicked King Ahab, and his very wicked wife, Jezebel. The story is found in 1st Kings 18, 19. It is taken up again in 2nd Kings 1 and 2.
- He has been asked to do some very hard things. He confronts Ahab and tells him that there will be no rain for 3 ½ years until he, Elijah, says so.
- He lives in isolation on some of the simplest terms concerning food, comfort, and society.
- He confronts the prophets of Baal in a contest of calling fire from heaven.
- He is threatened by Jezebel and flees for his life and has to deal with his own weakness. (he doesn’t like being weak)
- He confronts companies of 50 soldiers and calls down fire on them.
- He calls Elisha to replace him and to be trained by him. (This is hard for so many reasons. He knew what Elisha would have to deal with and how it would change Elisha’s life. He knew that it meant a big change for both of them.)
- He grieved for the failures of God’s people.
But I wonder if the hardest thing for him to do was to do nothing for 3 ½ years. He had to be questioning himself all the time. “Should I go speak to people? Should I go condemn someone? Should I go encourage someone?” 3 ½ years of doing nothing in the middle of nowhere would be very hard. Did he wonder if his message in 1st Kings 17:1 was long enough? (no one complained about the length of it.) Did he wonder if he had heard God correctly? There is no evidence that he heard from God at all while he was at the brook except when God told him to go live at Zarephath when the brook dried up.
I think that THE HARDEST THING FOR A MAN OF GOD TO DO IS TO DO NOTHING AT ALL WHEN GOD TELLS HIM TO DO NOTHING AT ALL.