What Doest Thou Here? 1 Kings 19:13

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“And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

“And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

It was after the great victory of praying fire down from Heaven that Elijah found himself living in self-pity, hiding in a cave. His excuse for hiding was that Jezebel had put a contract on his life, and he was running to hide. He also added to his excuse list that he was the only one who was taking a stand for God.

When God came to help Elijah, He asked Elijah a question that was more of the answer to getting him out of his self-pity than a question. God asked, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” God was asking Elijah, “What are you doing right now?” God knew that the answer to climbing out of a life of self-pity was to get busy doing something for God. This incident in Elijah’s life reveals several things about self-pity.

First, self-pity always gets you to focus on yourself. The only reason you feel your life is so bad is because you are focused on yourself. A self-focused individual always thinks that life revolves around them. The self-focused individual always feels that everyone else is the problem which keeps them from seeing that they are their own problem.

Second, self-pity always causes you to think you are the only one doing right. Elijah wasn’t the only one doing right, but he sure thought he was. You are not the only one who is right. When you constantly think that everyone else is the problem, you ought to look in the mirror so you can see who is truly the problem. Self-pity always causes you to blame everyone else for your problems in life.

Third, self-pity always gives you a good excuse to be self-absorbed. Elijah had several good excuses for his self-pity, but those excuses were just that, excuses. Self-absorbed people carry their feelings on their shoulders, have no sense of humor, and love to bring up the past for the excuse as to why they are not serving the LORD. My friend, the “hurts” from the past are not the reason why you are not serving the LORD, but you are not serving the LORD because you choose not to serve Him. You can always find an excuse to live in self-pity, but that doesn’t validate your excuses.

Fourth, self-pity always gets you to live in fear instead of faith. Why was Elijah living in fear? He was living in fear because self-pity got him so focused on himself that he could not see God’s ability to deliver to only seeing his inabilities to resolve his predicament. My question for Elijah is this, if God could rain fire from Heaven to consume an altar, couldn’t this same God protect him from the hand of Jezebel? The answer to this question is, YES! You could easily have the faith to trust God through your problem if you got your eyes off yourself.

So, what is the answer to self-pity? The answer is in the phrase, “What doest thou here,…” The answer to overcoming self-pity is to get busy doing something for God. When you get yourself busy serving God, you won't have time to see your problems. As long as you sit and sulk in self-pity, your self-absorbed life will only become greater. Pick yourself up and get busy doing something for God. Get up and serve others; it is when you are “doing” for God and others that you will overcome the self-absorbed life.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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