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Elijah The Tishbite (Part 8) – Prescription For Depression


Elijah wanted the reformation that began on Carmel, to continue and unfold according to his expectations.

He expected that Jezebel to accept the true God and reject the worship of Baal.

When his expectations did not come true, he became depressed.

What are your spiritual expectations of people? Your reaction of they do not respond and accept what you are teaching them?

Elijah became desponded because he felt that trial was more than he could handle.

Exhausted, but with great expectations fell asleep. Minutes later a royal servant brings the news: “Jezebel is going to kill you as you killed her prophets.”

Elijah decided there and then that God treated him unfair and he sinks into a deep night of depression.

How do you view the trials of life? Do you feel that God could have skipped a few of them? Do you feel that God was actually a little unfair?

If God would exempt us from some trials and tribulations that the devil brings on us, he could accuse Him as unfair

1 Kings 19:3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there

Poor Zebulon. He had hardly had a rest after running 28 kilometers from Carmel to Jezreel. And he has to run again.

Two dark figures disappears in the night. After a 95 kilometer of running and walking they reach Beersheba.


Zebulon sees a different master than the one he saw on Carmel.

Passing Jerusalem he ask Elijah if they could stay over for a day or two.

Elijah tells his servant that there are political ties between Israel and Judah and they could extradite him to Jezebel.

Zebulon tries to speak to his master but without any success. Maybe Zebulon tried to speak of few words of encouragement but this did not change his master’s attitude.

Maybe he quoted the following statement:

“In the darkest days, when appearances seem most forbidding, fear not. Have faith in God. His infinite love and compassion never weary. Fear not that He will fail of fulfilling His promise. He is eternal truth.” PK 164.


Maybe Elijah became a little over confident when fire from heaven came down, the conversion of the nation came true and the rain began falling.

Maybe Elijah became so self-reliant that he thought he could tackle the Jezebel crisis all by himself.

Paul writes:

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Let us feel a little weak in case we feel a little too strong


Eventually Elijah and his servant arrives at Beersheba, the capital of the Negev. By this time Elijah does not want so see a single person, not even his faithful servant.

“Zebulon I want you to stay here while I proceed into the desert.”

“My dear master. Who will pour water over your hands. And Master…”

Without allowing his servant to finish his sentence or answer him, Elijah disappears into the harshness of the desert.

Verse 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”


When you travel through the Negev in Israel, you see these bushes. The Beduins use them to make brooms.

Can you see him stumbling, lurching forward in that inhospitable desert?

But he is also stumbling and falling in the merciless desert of loneliness and depression.

He fired himself as the prophet of God. He defrocked himself from full time ministry. Tears of mixed emotions distorts his physical eyesight and he keeps on stumbling.

The spiritual hero on the heights of Carmel finds himself at this stage on the below sea level of a desert and of depression.

He stumbles deeper into the Negev hoping to die from sunburn, dehydration, thirst and hunger.

And then it happens. He fell to the ground next to a broom tree. With his head on his left arm he waits to die.

What a sorrowful sight. He cries and cries. And God and the angels cry.

Die man wat regop en vol moed met onverdeelde trou aan die Here voor duisende mense by Karmal gestaan en preek het, het geknak.

The man who appealed to the people at Carmel to put their trust in God, has lost his trust in God’s leading. He lies under a broom tree and wishes to die.

The Elijah messenger needs to hear his own message.

Have perhaps descended in the spiritual experience from the heights of Carmel to the desert valley of depression?


How does God view depressed people who lost faith in Him, deserted Him and wishes to die?

How does he react to someone who should have been positive but who became negative? Someone who disappointed Him?

God loved Elijah when he was down just as He loved him when he was up at Carmel praying for fire to come down.

The Elijah message says God cares for people who are depressed. His love for them does not change when their love for Him fails.


Verse 5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.”

He wakes up frightening when somebody speaks to him. “Who are you?” A friendly voice tell him to have something to eat

God was watching his servant. His frame is jerking because of nightmares. He had an expression of confused depression.

“Gabriel!” calls Jesus, while He wipes His tears. “I have a very important assignment for you. Our friend Elijah needs us. Get your GPS. He lies about 20 kilometers south of Beersheba. He is busy dying of exhaustion.”

“Go to him without delay and touch him because he is very lonely. Keep on touching him until he wakes up because I allowed a deep sleep to come over him.

“When he wakes he will think it is an enemy and he will want to flee. Gabriel give him the best smile you have ever given; a smile of sympathy and peace and acceptance.”


Within a split second Gabriel kneels besides the dying Eljah and gives him the best treatment and food Elijah has ever had.

Verse 5,6 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again.

I wish I could have seen it. Gabriel converted the desert stones into a microwave and prepared an unbelievable breakfast.

While the aroma of the freshly baked bread fills the nostrils of the depressed prophet, Gabriel touches him with the most loved filled touch you can dream of.

“Where am I? Who are you?” Gabriel kept on smiling and Elijah saw the friendliest face he has ever seen.

And then in the most melodious voice, he says to Elijah:

“My dear friend, don’t be afraid I have baked you bread that you have never tasted before. And here is some refreshing mineral water. Someone special sends it.”


The word for bread used in verse 5, “uggah”, is the same as the word for bread that Elijah ate where he stayed with the widow of Zarephath.

Of what was he thinking when he ate that bread? The way that God has led him in the past and His teaching.

We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.–LS 196 (1902). {LDE 72.1}


The more I study the Bible the more I appreciate the way God deals with us sinners.

The Elijah message says instead of blaming people, give them something special to eat and please give them a smile

“My husband you are making a mistake in buying that car.”

She was right. The engine packed up.

How does she react? “I told you.”

What about saying the following:

“My dearest husband. I am so sorry this has happened. We all make mistakes. Let me prepare your favourite meal to cheer you up.”

This is how the Elijah message sounds and tastes. Encourage instead of reproach and blame. Are we preaching the Elijah message?


After Elijah filled his stomach with his favourite food, he fell asleep. He expected one of Jezebel’s secret police to arrest him, but an angel came with food from heaven words of comfort.

My dear friend. Here we find a profile of the God we serve.

He does not leave us to our fate when we get lost in the desert of our wrong actions. He comes to where we are without reproach and with our favourite dish.


Before I tell you about the second meal Elijah received, just something about the work of angels:

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

When we fall, God does not leave us. He not only sends the Holy Spirit to comfort us, but also His holy angels to put us back on track.

After Gabriel fed the despondent Elijah he went back to heaven to give an account. But his work was not completed.

“Gabriel I want you to go back. Elijah improved a little but he needs more encouragement. He needs food that will help to walk for 40 days until he reaches mount Horeb. Get him some of fruit of the tree of life.”


Within seconds Gabriel is back to Elijah with this special food from heaven.

Verses 7,8 And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.

Next time we are going to join Elijah on his 40 day walk to Horeb with the power food of heaven.

You are going to see how delicately God worked with His depressed friend to get him back to the job.

The Elijah message is without reproach and blame. The Elijah message nourishes and restore people.

The Elijah message reflects the marvelous saving grace of our loving Father in heaven.

Updated on 21st Mar 2022

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