1 Kings 19:7,8 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched [Elijah] 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.
A depressed prophet
Elijah’s ministry was not turning out as he expected. Days before, on Mount Carmel, the LORD demonstrated that he, not Baal, is the God of power (1 Kings 18:16-46). Four hundred fifty priests of Baal were executed. His countrymen pledged faithfulness to the LORD. But spiritual revival was short-lived. Queen Jezebel put a price on the prophet’s head. Elijah ran for his life. He collapsed in the Sinai desert under a lone broom tree.
There the Angel of the LORD found and fed him. Then the LORD urged him on to Mount Horeb where he would have a personal audience with the God of whisper-gentle grace.
A well-fed prophet
Bread for Beggar’s author Michael Zarling comments:
“Get up and eat, because the journey is too much for you.” These are good words for our ears, too. When we become discouraged, downtrodden, and depressed, we need to eat the bread that comes down from heaven.
We are on a journey through the wilderness of this world. It is a journey from this life to the next. It is a journey that is too much for us. But, it is not too much for God. The angel of the Lord that visited Elijah was the pre-incarnate Christ, the Son of God before He took on human flesh. As Christ came down from heaven to help his needy prophet under the broom tree and give him bread to sustain him for the journey, so Christ has come down to us needy people, to give us the bread of life to sustain us for the journey to heaven.
A prophet's meal for us
But Christ does not come to us as the angel of the Lord…. He has come to us in an even greater way – this time as a man. God and man together in one person. God has come in human flesh as Jesus Christ to make the journey we could not make. To do what we could not do. To give us the life we need – in this world and the next….
Christ puts into your mouth, your ears, your eyes, your mind, and heart the bread of life, which is His holy Word. This Word convicts your prideful heart and comforts your fearful soul….
If you are going to curl up and hide under a tree, don’t look for a broom tree! Curl up and hide under the tree of the cross! That’s where the God-Man gave His life for you. He gives that life to you in the bread that came down from heaven. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:51). Eat this bread to sustain you for the journey.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is everyone who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).