We tend to have our own idea of what God should do. “This is the perfect time for you to show your power, God.” “Why don’t you stop the injustice?” If God does not meet our expectations, we feel disappointed. It turns out God’s top prophet, Elijah, had a similar experience in 1 Kings 19:1-18.
Ahab, Israel’s king, had made Baal to be Israel’s god. Elijah, before the Israelites, challenged the 450 Baal prophets. Through a spectacular miracle, he got all of them killed.
The over-confident Elijah ran to Jezreel, the capital of Israel, perhaps expecting Ahab and the Israelites to repent and return to God. Instead, Ahab’s wife threatened to kill him within a day.
Elijah ran for his life. He even let his servant go, implying quitting his ministry (v3). Totally demoralized, he asked God to let him die (v4).
How did God treat Elijah’s depression?
Twice, an angel touched him, fed him, and let him sleep (v5, 7). Strengthened by the food, Elijah travelled for 40 days to Horeb (or Mount Sinai), where Moses had been given the ten commandments.
God asked him what he was doing there (v9). Elijah responded that he was the only one zealous for Him, basically asking, “What’s wrong with you, God? Why didn’t you show your power and do what I think you should?” (v10).
Elijah assumed God would do certain things in Israel. When God didn’t follow through, Elijah became overly pessimistic: “I am the only one [prophet] left” (v10). Elijah tried to put God in his box, and when God was not there, Elijah grew cynical and depressed.
As described above, God treated Elijah with comfort, sustenance, sleep, and time. He also just allowed Elijah to talk without condemning him. Then God responded.
First, God showed a glimpse of His strength through powerful wind tearing mountains apart, earthquake, and fire. Then God gently talked to Elijah, telling Elijah His plan. God counseled and healed Elijah with gentle words.
God’s ways are beyond us. Don’t try to put God in our box. Instead, have faith in the almighty and brilliant God, and listen to His words. God will do the right thing at the right time.
Summarized from a Tim Keller sermon:
人往往有自己的想法认为上帝应该做什么，比如“神啊，这是显示你的大能的最佳时机,” 或 “你为何不制止冤屈？” 如果上帝没有满足自己的期望，就会感到非常失望。上帝最优秀的先知以利亚在列王记上 19章1至18节中有过类似的经历。
上帝问以利亚在那里做什么（列王记上19：9）。以利亚回答说只剩下自己对上帝大发热心。 他实际上在问神：“上帝，为何不显示您的大能, 做点我想您做的事?”（列王记上19：10）