1 Kings 19:9 What Doest Thou Here?

1 Kings 19:9 (KJV)
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

What doest thou here?” 
The question is of such significance that God puts it to the prophet twice.[1] The first was in Judah, a day’s journey from Israel. The second was at Mt Horeb, in the wilderness, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Though God had sustained him on his trip to Horeb, neither place was where God had put him.

Gill writes,
“..this is not a proper place for a prophet to be in, in a wilderness, in a mountain, in a cave in it: what work could he do for God? or what service to his people? in the land of Israel he might bear his testimony against idolatry, and so be a means of reclaiming backsliders, and of establishing those that were in the true religion; but of what usefulness could he be here?”

We have a weakened view of faith whenever we take the view that we can practice our faith anywhere we choose. It’s as much as saying we are our own “god of location.”

Elijah felt justified in fleeing.

  • He had left Elisha there to continue the ministry
  • He had been threatened of life by Jezebel
  • He had gone to Horeb in the strength of God’s provision

He had gone first to Judah, where God’s Temple was, and then to Horeb, where the Ten Commandments had been delivered.[2] But none of this was where God had designed Elijah to serve. 

His flight as much as admitted his faith so strongly professed in chapter eighteen, was shallow, if not a show.[3]

  • God had a place for Abraham to move
  • God had a place Isaac was not to leave
  • God had a place Jacob must return
  • God had a place promised to Israel
  • God had a place designated for each of the tribes
  • God had a place Elijah was to serve

Who are we to believe God is pleased whenever we choose out our own place to serve?

Eventually God brought Elijah back to Israel. There was just no other place he could be an be what God where and what God designed for him to be.

[1] Again in verse 13

[2] Many Bible students believe Mt Horeb and Mt Sinai are the same.

[3] Very often what we profess with our mouths, and even what we boldly do with our hands is a ruse to cover what we sense in our heart.

To my readers:
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

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1 Kings 19:9 What Doest Thou Here?

Author: marvinmck

Marvin McKenzie was born in the Pacific Northwest and became a Christian at the age of eighteen. He has been in the Baptist ministry for thirty years and has planted and pastored churches in Washington and Oregon. Besides his pastoral ministry, Marvin has been actively involved in training men for the Baptist ministry. He has conducted local church Bible Institutes in those churches he has pastored, from which a number of men have entered the ministry. Marvin also served as: Vice President of the Western States Baptist Bible Fellowship, The Board of Directors of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA, Dean of men at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, Executive Vice President of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA and Executive Vice President of Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, OK. Marvin is married to Anita. They have two sons, Bohannan and Caleb. Both are Baptist pastors in Washington State. Marvin enjoys camping, fishing and horses.

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