Immediately after the victory of Elijah over the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel he is threatened by Jezebel and flees into the wilderness. In his exhaustion Elijah prayed for God to take his life, but it was in the next moment that the Lord was going to call him to anoint the next generation of spiritual and political leaders. God did not answer Elijah’s prayer in the affirmative, but instead the angel of the Lord told Elijah to eat. He needed strength for his journey, and so do we. The times we live in can be exhausting, and if we are not feeding on the bread of life given by the Word of God and through obedience to the will of God then we will not have the strength to rise to the challenge of standing for the name of Jesus Christ in this generation.
And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
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!”
Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 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. 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.” 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.
1 Kings 19:1-8
Perhaps it seems as if your spiritual resources have run dry, that your calling is in question, and that your mistakes have created an irreparable separation from the will of God. In this moment know that God’s calling is irrevocable. If you are serving the Lord, then continue to persevere in obedience to Jesus. Press in to God! Don’t give up until you hear from Him. Pray. Fast. Know that the Lord is for you. Let this be a season of refreshing and encouragement. Laborers are needed for the harvest that is coming. Will you join in the work that will bear fruit eternally for the Kingdom of God? Jesus is worthy, and if you find yourself thirsty and dry today, then make the choice to refuse to stay in that place. Go to God today! He has not written you off.
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
These are the words of Jesus Christ. Here Jesus first declares His imperative to perform the will of God the Father. The second statement, a future tense proclamation with prophetic undertones, is more challenging to understand. Interpretations of this night when no man can work are numerous and varied. I believe that this verse is multifaceted. The night could refer to the death of Jesus specifically, death in general, the new heavens and new earth where our work will cease, a time during the Great Tribulation where because of either Satan’s wrath or God’s wrath our work will not be possible, or even several among these and others not listed here. I don’t claim to offer a definitive interpretation of this verse, but I’d like to pose a question that the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart.
What if there is soon coming a time when the disruption of the global financial system leads to a general inability to work?
Continue reading “The Night When No Man Can Work”