What really happened?

1 Kings 19:3 “And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.”
Those last four words, “left his servant there”, I have preached before on how Elijah abandoned his servant wanting to be alone. We know from reading the text later on that he was feeling suicidal. The opening verse tells us that he was scared for his life and ran for it because the queen threatened to kill him for what he had done to her prophets.
What if it wasn’t a matter though of Elijah giving up on everything, including his nameless servant?
Before 18:43 there is no mention of Elijah having a servant. Then suddenly there he is. Perhaps this was a young man who got him a dose of religion (everyone sure did have a religious experience that day) and decided Elijah could use some help. This man certainly did help out, going and checking on the sky all those times, and finally running to Ahab with Elijah’s warning of rain.
After Elijah got fixed by God though he wasn’t instructed to go back for the young man. No, he was told to commission Elisha to be his new servant and prophet in training. Did you notice that? God called Elisha by name and somehow Elijah knew exactly where to find him. Also of note Elisha was not the mysterious servant because no where is it recorded that he wanted to know what happened or that either greeted the other as old friends.
What really happened?
I believe this young man had as I stated earlier, a religious experience, and nothing more. When the going got tough he walked away. Seeing Elijah’s life in danger he eventually came to the conclusion that this was crazy and quit. Perhaps his expectations for Elijah were too high. He had witnessed Israel being brought to the edge of a national revival only to see it collapse when Elijah proved to be human. His hero had let him down and in disappointment he too forsook.
My point is this, Elijah left him there not because he wanted to leave him but because this unnamed man wanted to stay behind.


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