“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (I Corinthians 10:11).
Think about the day after graduation. Think about the day after Christmas. Think about the day after New Years Day. Think about the day after your birthday. Pastors, think about the day after a big attendance day in Sunday school. Think about the day after a holiday. There is a natural feeling of discouragement, which hits everyone at such times.
There are three men in the Old Testament that reflect this thought. In fact they were so discouraged that each of them asked God if they could die. That is how bad it became for them. “Preacher, I bet it was Nebuchadnezzar, or Cyrus, or Pharaoh, or Cain, or Ahab.” No, the truth is these three men who did this were three of the greatest men in all of the Scriptures. These three men each asked God to let them die.
In Numbers chapter eleven the people of God had left the Land of Promise and God had given them this one a day type vitamin called manna from Heaven. The manna covered the earth every morning like the morning dew. The people began to complain about this light bread. “We remember the cucumbers, watermelons, onion, leaks, and garlic of Egypt. Now all we have is this bread.” This was a miracle performed by for them by God, but they had become accustomed to it and adjusted to it emotionally as well as physically.
What a delight and joy that first day was when God gave them that heavenly manna. There is great lesson here for all of us in that we must never become used to the wonderful things God has done and is doing for us! However, God’s people became used to the miracles and they came to Moses and cried for some flesh. Moses comes to God and complained about God’s people and asked God to let them die; the day after!
Here is someone else in the Old Testament who wanted to die! There was a contest on Mount Carmel where Elijah had challenged the Prophets of Baal to pray down fire and consume the sacrifice on the altar. They begged and prayed to Baal and no fire came down
Then Elijah mocked them and. He said to them, “I’ve got plenty of time, let’s wait for your god. He’s probably gone on a hunting trip.” The Prophets of Baal continue to cry out to their god and of course Baal never did hear them.
Elijah flooded the altar with wet wood. Dr. John R. Rice used to say about this, “God can send fire on wet wood just as well as dry wood!” Elijah stepped up and prayed and God answered and sent fire down from Heaven and consumed the sacrifice from off of that altar.
Elijah then had a meeting with the Baal Ministerial Association and at the end of the meeting all of the false prophets died.
However, Jezebel became angry and told Elijah, “I’ll get you for what you’ve done to my preachers!” What did Elijah do? He ran! He did not run from Baal or the Prophets of God, but he ran from a woman. The man who could do battle with Baal and the Prophets of Baal could not stand up to Jezebel.
He ran for a day’s journey and arrived at a place called Beersheba and there he sat under a juniper tree and said, “Lord let me die!” That is the second great man in the Scriptures who wanted to die; the day after!
Remember how Jonah was delivered from the whale and how he took off for Nineveh after being in the belly of that whale for three days and three nights? The Scriptures tell us, “Nineveh was an exceeding city of three days journey” and the Bible says that Jonah made that trip in one day. Why so fast? He thought that whale was still chasing him! Ha!
Jonah preached salvation and repentance to Nineveh and Nineveh. Without exception all found salvation and practiced repentance. However, Jonah became discouraged when it was all over and it was the day after. He got the blahs on that next day after the great spiritual victory. Jonah went outside of the city and he said, “Lord, I’m discouraged and want to die!”
Here are the three stories in the Bible of the three greatest men in the Old Testament who wanted to die. Wow! What great men; Moses, the greatest man of the Old Testament, the great Jonah who preached the greatest revival in the history of man, and the great Elijah who called down fire from Heaven. Yet, these three men became discouraged and contracted the blahs.
There are some things that these three men had in common with their desire to die. In each case their desire to die came after a high time. Elijah said, “I want to die” shortly after the great victory on Mount Carmel. Jonah said the same thing after the great revival in Nineveh. Moses said the same thing after the great victory at the Red Sea and Mount Sinai.
There are some great lessons here for churches, children of God, and Evangelists! Jonah wanted to stay in constant revival and you cannot do that. Moses wanted to see one Red Sea after another and it does not work that way in life. Elijah wanted to stay on Mount Carmel and pray down fire every day and that is not possible as life progresses.
One or two big days a year does not make a church! It is the other fifty-one weeks where we live most of the time that provides the building blocks of that church. The high hour in one life is there because of the normal hours. Where there is no valley there cannot exist a mountaintop.
Remember when Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on the Mount of Transfiguration and Elijah and Moses came down to fellowship. Peter blurted out, “Let us build three tabernacles here!”
No! You cannot stay up on the mountain because at that very moment was a man at the bottom of the mountain who had a son who was devil possessed and they needed help at the bottom of the mountain!
Moses after the Red Sea, Elijah after Mount Carmel, and Jonah after the great revival please listen, the work is not over you must get back on the Gospel trail again and do it quickly.
Elijah said to God, “Why am I the only one?” Jonah said to God, “How could you embarrass me like this?” Moses said, “Why did you give me these people?” Their eyes were taken off of the Lord and placed on themselves.
When we look down it is impossible to see what’s up! When we attempt to make God accountable to us then we cease to be accountable to Him and discouragement invades our soul! We do not have to know why! We just have to know Him!