It’s easy to get discouraged in the face of all the insanity and absurdity of the wokesters, who aren’t just unwashed Antifa thugs picking fights in the streets. Woke-ism, Cultural Marxism, CRT, progressivism, etc.—whatever name we give it, the ideology dominates our institutions, our ruling class, and our popular culture.
In the face of such totality, it’s little wonder that conservatives and traditionalists grow pessimistic about the future. Despair is seductive, and misery loves company.
As Christians, however, despair is profoundly sinful. When we give into despair—into hopelessness—we are denying God’s Sovereignty, His Power and His Plan to guide us through the present storm.
During my pastor’s sermon this past Sunday, he mentioned in passing the passages from 1 Kings 19 in which Elijah curls up under a broom tree and prays for death. Despite defeating the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel in the previous chapter, Elijah despairs, for he knows that Jezebel has put a price on his head—and he feels utterly alone.
In verse 18, however, God tells Elijah He has “reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” God is telling Elijah very directly, “You are not alone.”
That passage really resonated with me Sunday morning. It’s so easy to feel alone as a conservative Christian, especially if you really believe the literal Word of God. Our world is so hostile to Christianity and true Christian doctrine, that sense of despair and isolation can creep in all too swiftly.
In the case of Elijah, the Lord had used him to do incredible things, including defeating Baal’s wicked priests, one man against them all. Even with that overwhelming evidence of God’s Hand in Elijah’s life, he balked when he found out a price was on his head.
That’s a reminder that we are frail humans, and are quick to forget God is in control. I once read a quote from Dr. Samuel Johnson that goes something along the lines of “men do not need to learn, so much as they need to be reminded.” That is especially true for Christians.
Fortunately, God provides ample reminders of His Sovereignty. But there’s something else there: Elijah knows God used him to defeat the priests of Baal, but he feels alone. As Elijah says in verse 14 (emphasis added), “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.”
Thus, God not only gives instructions to Elijah—including to anoint Elisha, who will take Elijah’s place as a prophet—but encourages Elijah with the knowledge of the 7000 faithful Israelites.
Having been duly reminded of God’s Faithfulness and Sovereignty, and encouraged that he is not alone, Elijah is able to carry out God’s Plan, so much so that rather than dying, Elijah is swept up into Heaven on a chariot of fire.
While things look bleak now—and they are bleak—it is worth remembering that God is in control. It is also important to remember that we are not the only ones who believe—and who refuse to bend the knee.