Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab, was angry with Elijah because he had delivered God’s wrath upon her prophets. She sent one of her men to give Elijah this message: “May the gods do thus and so to me if by this time tomorrow I have not done with your life what was done to each of them.” Elijah was afraid Jezebel would capture and kill him, so he escaped to Beer-sheba, in Judah. Fearing he was not far enough away, he traveled a full day more into the desert. Hot and exhausted, he sat under the shade of a broom tree.
Wiping sweat from his face and tears from his eyes, Elijah prayed, “This is enough, O Lord! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” Then he lay down and fell asleep under the tree.
Elijah woke up when he felt someone touching him. He rubbed his eyes and saw an angel, who told him to get up and eat. Elijah had brought no food with him, but next to his head was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he drank some of the cool water and ate a small piece of the cake, he started to nod off to sleep again.
But the angel shook Elijah and said, “Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!” Elijah sat up and finished the food and drink the angel had provided. With that nourishment, he walked for 40 days and nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he found a cave, which was cool and safe.
“Why are you here, Elijah?” It was the voice of God calling. Elijah knelt down and answered, “I have been most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts, but the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.”
Then God said to Elijah, “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will be passing by.”
As soon as Elijah stepped out of the cave, a powerful wind created a rockslide down the side of the mountain. The rockslide was followed by an earthquake. The earthquake was followed by a sky full of fire. But still Elijah had not seen the Lord pass by him. Then he heard a voice whisper, “Elijah, why are you here?”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1 Kings 19
1. Why did Jezebel want to kill Elijah?
2. Who provided food for Elijah in the desert?
Drought, and the hunger that followed it, could devastate large, heavily populated sections of land during the times of the Old Testament and New Testament. There were several factors that could lead to famine: long periods with little or no rain; wells and cisterns had dried up; severe weather conditions, such as hail, destroyed crops before they were harvested; hordes of destructive insects, such as locusts; and even war, which destroyed crop lands or prevented the crops from being harvested. There are stories in the Bible about how people dealt with the effects of hunger. Abraham, Joseph, Isaac, David and Elijah were all affected by drought and hunger. Water was as precious a resource then as it is now. We should always ask and thank God for clean, plentiful water and good weather. And we should also pray for people in other parts of the world who are hungry and have few resources for finding enough food and water for their families.
Cajetan (1480-1547) was the son of an Italian count. He graduated from the University of Padua with degrees in theology and civil and canon law. When he returned home, he was elected senator, but he continued to work toward his goal of becoming a priest. In 1516, he was ordained. Cajetan re-established a religious community in Rome that worked to spread the word of God’s love and care for the spiritual health of the people. Although his family and friends felt he was rejecting them by spending so much of his time with the poor, the sick and other unfortunate people, he continued to work where he felt God wanted him to be. Cajetan also wanted to inspire the members of the clergy working in Italy who were depressed or discourage. He founded a new congregation based on the example set by the earliest disciples of Jesus. Although he was not successful in all of his efforts, he never stopped working toward his goals. Many miracles are attributed to his intercession, and we honor him on Aug. 7.