God's Prescription for Depression: 1 Kings 19:9-21
God's Prescription for Depression: 1 Kings 19:9-21By: Todd Hudnall
This past weekend
we looked at God’s prescription for breaking free from depression. The message
can be found at http://radiantchurch.org/node/426.
Elijah has fallen
into a depressed state following the great victory at Mount Carmel. God is now
working to bring Elijah out of his depression. At the end of the story Elijah
will still be depressed but is on the road to recovery. It takes time to
recover from depression.
In verses 5-7 God
begins by ministering to Elijah’s physical needs.
1Kings 19:9 And there he went into a cave,
and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What
are you doing here, Elijah?”
This is Mt. Horeb – a/k/a Mount
Sinai. This is probably the cave where God met Moses in the cleft of the rock.
Elijah goes into a cave. In times of depression – we want to go into our cave.
Here – here instead of Israel
Here – in depression – his
depression is really unjustified. But
God simply asks him and Elijah vents.
1Kings 19:10 So he said, “I have been very
zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken
Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword.
I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
Elijah had been running it
over in his head for 40 days, is stewing in his anger and he explodes with
Anger is a root cause of much
depression. The #1 form of anger in depression is self-anger – anger turned
We do need to vent but people
can’t handle it, God can.
1Kings 19:11 Then He said, “Go out, and
stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a
great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces
before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind
an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake;
1Kings 19:12 and after the earthquake a
fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire
a still small voice.
God tried to get Elijah to
accept personal responsibility and he wouldn’t, so now the Lord moves toward
another prescription to depression. He now will provoke him to praise and
worship by showing Elijah His transcendent power and His imminent still small
voice. Praise and worship is a key to defeating depression.
– “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
1Kings 19:13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his
mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you
doing here, Elijah?”
Then God give Elijah another
1Kings 19:14 And he said, “I have been
very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have
forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with
the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
It can take time
to come out of depression.
1Kings 19:15 Then the LORD said to him:
“Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive,
anoint Hazael as king over Syria.
1Kings 19:16 Also you shall anoint Jehu
the son of Nimshi as king over
Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
God gave Elijah
something meaningful to do and gave him a friend and someone to mentor in
Elisha. We need both to come out of depression.
Prominent psychiatrist, Dr.
Karl Menninger’s, recommendation for people who are seriously depressed was, “Lock
up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need and help
1Kings 19:17 It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of
Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will
1Kings 19:18 Yet I have reserved seven
thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth
that has not kissed him.”
1Kings 19:19 ¶ So he departed from there,
and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was
plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the
twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him.
1Kings 19:20 And he left the oxen and ran
after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” ¶ And he said
to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”
1Kings 19:21 So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and
slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave
it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became
There is a way
out of depression.