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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | 1 Kings 19:5 | Arise and Eat

1 Kings 19:5

5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.

Before we look at our verse of scripture we need to look at the set of circumstances and mindset that brought him to his sorrowing tree in the wilderness. He had defeated the Prophets of Baal, slew them, and waited upon God to send the rain. Before that, he had prayed that it rain not for the space of three years, he had been fed by Ravens at the brook, sustained by the widow in town, and saw the dead raised but now it seems that there is nowhere left to go from here. At the end of his season of victory and answered prayer he was brought to this low estate by the threats of Jezebel on his life. What does our Prophet do? We might think that he would fight, or pray, or just trust God but being "A man of like passions," he does what many of us have done, fear. It seems that he supposes this threat is a reality, which is why he fled to the wilderness to die.

I am glad that the Bible does not hide the fears and failings of the people in it. If such a man as Elijah had fits of depression and defeat as this, we can take comfort in the fact that we are not the only one and we can see from their experiences with such troubles that there is help for us as there was for them. After long seasons of victory, it is easy for trouble to blindside you, and the threats on the horizon drive us to a place of despair. Like Elijah, we give up, we say as did David when he despaired for his life of Saul, "There is Nothing Better for me." So we run, we lay down, we hide, and even despair of life itself, Oh that I was no longer in this world of hurt! We find a place far away from everybody and everything and lay down on God and man, there to die.

That's where we find our Prophet, and perhaps it's where you are today. Yet, in the middle of our verse, there is an interruption, "Behold." As if to say when it was least expected, something is happening. An Angel is sent to this weary, despairing servant, to touch him and wake him from his sleep and to save him from dying in his present state. Help came when he was sleeping, not when he was praying, It came in the desert, not in the church house. What a God we serve that when we are not looking for him he comes for us, we can rest in this fact that he will not forsake his own. I've often feared the day that I become so weak and despairing that I will no longer serve the Lord, or perhaps I lay down on him, but here we have a testimony to his faithfulness to us in the midst of our unfaithfulness to him.

Elijah under the Juniper

He has a word for this sleeping saint,"And he said unto him, Arise and eat." He had prepared something just for him. He must have been thirsty and hungry, having traveled into the wilderness a full day's journey, and The Lord tenderly cares for his needs there where there was no raven to do so, and when there was no widow to prepare the cake the Lord himself did so. Greater than the meal, was the fellowship and the word from the Lord he received under his sorrowing tree, "Arise and Eat." God would have us to Arise, get up from our despondency and despair, and see what he has prepared for us. He will not let us die when there is so much work to be done, when there is a mountain to climb, An encounter with Him, Kings to Anoint, Prophets to cast our mantle on, and many more exploits for his glory. Amazingly, this man never did die, he was caught up to heaven in a blaze of glory and the thing he was despairing of was nothing more than a empty threat from a doomed enemy. This isn't just true for our prophet but for all of us who are in Christ Jesus. We fear death as did this man, we fear defeat as did this man, but these are no more than empty threats of the god of this world. Death has no power over you, Arise and eat those words. Sin will not defeat the Christian, "Sin shall not have dominion over you," Arise and eat those words. Many more promises have been prepared for the hungry, thirsting saint, Arise and eat. 

Many times I have fallen asleep on the Lord, given up, yet "Behold!" A voice from heaven has wakened me from my sleep and said "Arise and eat." See what he has prepared for you! It may be that he has to wake you twice as he did this prophet but he has a word for you, he has a plan for you and the meat that he feeds us with can sustain us for the journey ahead. This Morning, Arise and eat, and go on in the strength of what he has prepared until, from Horeb's lofty height, you hear his voice and can see clearly his plan for your future.  

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