If you are like most people, there has likely been a time in your life when you thought you were the only one doing good. Perhaps you have had this feeling at work, at school, or maybe even within your own family or community. Watching others live selfishly and without care for what God has said can certainly be frustrating for one who is trying to live the right kind of life. While this can be challenging, it can also lead to the one doing good to feel “righteous.” Not only could one feel righteous, but there could even develop a sense of deserving grace from God. If you believe you are the only one doing good, you may even question, “Why bother?”
Elijah, one of God’s prophets, experienced this very same issue. In 1 Kings 19, while fleeing from Jezebel, Elijah struggled with doubt, loneliness, and self-exaltation. After reaching safety in “the cave” God asks Elijah why he has fled from Jezebel. In response, Elijah speaks about all the good things he has done in the name and service of the Lord (19:10). In this time of distress Elijah began to feel that the things he had done made him somehow deserving of God’s help. Twice Elijah says, “I alone am left” (19:10, 14). God’s prophet had come to the point where he felt that he was the only faithful person left. God comforts Elijah and reassures him that he is not the only godly person left on earth, but that there will be “7,000” faithful people left in Israel (19:18). Proving that he was not alone.
So what can we take from this passage of divinely inspired Scripture? There are many benefits to be taken, but there are two specific lessons that we can encourage us today. Firstly, just because we do good and others don’t, doesn’t mean we deserve anything extra from God. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace, and nothing we do can or will change that. Secondly, regardless of how alone we might feel in following God’s will, there are always others. Members of the Lord’s body are spread all across this world, and that is something that we as Christians can take comfort in. Despite his hard times, Elijah would go on to mentor another great man of God by the name of Elisha, and was rewarded for his service and faithfulness to God by being taken up into heaven by a “whirlwind” (2 Kings 2:11). So, no matter how frustrated or isolated we may feel at times, we should keep our faith and keep serving God, and we too will reap the eternal promises of our Lord and Savior. It is always best to follow God