Daily Devotional

Arise and Eat

Monday, December 5, 2022
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And as [Elijah] lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. 1 Kings 19:5.

It had been a long, trying, and tiring day. Elijah had had little or no time to eat, and certainly no time to rest. He had to keep a vigilant eye on the priests of Baal.

More than 12 barrels of water had been hauled up that mountain, probably from the sea below. Following the dramatic display of fireworks from God, Elijah had given the order to execute justice, killing all the priests of Baal. It was a physically and emotionally draining time.

Elijah prayed intensely seven times for rain, and when it finally came, he ran ahead of King Ahab's chariot for about 25 miles through a torrential downpour to the gates of Jezreel.

He was totally exhausted, physically and emotionally spent, when a messenger notified Elijah that he was on Jezebel's hit list.

Immediately he and his servant fled down the 95-mile stretch to Beersheba, and then another 20-some miles out into the desert. Ancient Palestine had no Taco Bells or Subways. Just a juniper tree. There Elijah collapsed, asked God to let him die, and slept.

Then an angel touched him. The being offered no scathing rebuke, no "Where was your faith?" criticism, no "Don't you think if God could protect you from all the priests of Baal, He could shield you from Jezebel?"

No, the Bible record simply states that the angel provided him with fresh bread and a jug of water and said, "Arise and eat."

Elijah ate. He drank. He slept.

Then enters the angel again and says, "Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee" (1 Kings 19:7). God knew it was going to be a 40-day-and-night journey of about 200 miles to Mount Horeb, the next rest area.

God knows we can't deal with spiritual conflicts until we get our physical bodies back in balance.

How is it with you today? Have you been overstressed, overworked, overburdened? Rest, then "arise and eat" the food and drink of angels.

Thank You, God, for meeting all my needs: for rest, for food, and for drink. And Lord, help me to remember, when I'm stressed out, that You don't require me to go on until my life is back in balance. Amen.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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