Elijah – King of the Blues

Posted: May 3, 2011 in Random Thoughts
Tags: , , ,

This is going to sound kind of weird but this morning, as I was driving to the office, I was listening to John Mayer and thinking about Elijah, you know, the guy from the Bible who killed all the false prophets (told you this was going to sound weird). Anyway, I thought, “Man, if Elijah would’ve had a guitar he would’ve made a great blues man.” Think of the songs he might have written: Down by the River Cherith; Plenty of Biscuits (But No Gravy to go Around); Mountains High and Valleys Low; Earth, Wind, and Fire; The Sound of Your Voice; Fire in the Sky… Elijah had a lot of experiences that would’ve made some great songs because beauty is born from pain. That’s what makes blues music so good (to me anyway).

We could all probably write some pretty good blues songs couldn’t we? Life is full of ups and downs for everyone, Christians and ministers (like myself) included. We sometimes think it should be different for Christians and especially those who have surrendered to God’s call to ministry, but often it’s not. We often find ourselves having the blues even though we know God is at work in us and around us, kind of like Elijah. Think about it. Elijah was a man who had enough faith and courage to stand alone in front of all of Israel, including the king and all of the false prophets of a false god, and proclaim the word of the one true God, and not only that but slay all 450 of those false prophets. Wow, what a man of God and what a victory for God right? So why does Elijah seem to have the blues after such a great victory? Good question. I can only speculate but maybe he thought that all the people of Israel would change their ways and truly follow God in their hearts. Maybe he thought that the king and queen would repent and commit themselves to serve the one true God. Maybe even after the mighty display of God’s power it just didn’t really feel like a victory to Elijah. Either way, he found himself still in a battle and he was depressed. As the story goes Elijah ran to the mountain of God. This was the same mountain where God spoke to Moses. Elijah evidently just wanted to give up the fight and be alone with God. God did meet with Elijah and He even gave another mighty show of His power, maybe to just remind Elijah of who He was and what He could. God could work in the lives of His people in a mighty way, or He could simply call to them through the voice of one who would stand against the odds and speak the truth. God wasn’t in the mighty wind, or the earthquake, or the fire. Instead He chose to speak to Elijah in a still, small voice and here’s what He said, “What are you doing here Elijah? Go return on your way” (1 Kings 19:13 and 15).

Funny thing about the blues, when we have them we want to have them. When I’m down, I don’t always want to be cheered up. Sometimes I just need to go through the process and let some things run their course and inevitably God will come to me in the midst of of where I am and he’ll remind me that He’s still God. He’s still in control. His word is true. His Spirit is present with me. He’s still at work. He still has a plan and He still has work for me to do. The Bible says that Elijah got up and went from there.

A victory doesn’t always feel like a victory because we never wanted to fight in the first place. The struggles of life, even the Christian life, and especially in ministry, will bring us down. When you get down look up, look to God, listen for His voice, and get up and go from there. Elijah’s biggest hit could have been The Light at the End of the Tunnel. The Christian life is not without its struggles, but it is always filled with hope.

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    Awesome stuff bro.

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