After hearing Elijah’s complaints we need to see that God did not directly address Elijah’s gripes. He simply acted as He is—God—and He gave Elijah a will to follow. Yet in giving these assignments God gave Elijah enough information to know that God was going to complete the work He began through Elijah. The instructions were simple—anoint Hazael king over Aram—and Jehu king over Israel. In addition to the anointing of these two kings, he also was to anoint Elisha as prophet in his place. There is something we should learn from these directions.
When we are exhausted and overwhelmed—God wants us to rest—but not forever. Elijah had lost his way because God did not solve things completely—the way Elijah wanted. But after God had addressed Elijah’s spiritual condition, God knew that Elijah needed to get back on track and begin serving the Lord again in the things he did. But as God did this—he unequivocally let Elijah know that He was going to work in perpetuity. Judgment would come on the wicked—that was assured. But, it would come in God’s way, according to God’s timing, and through God’s chosen instruments.
Elijah unfortunately fell into the thought that everything had to be done through him and while he was alive. God’s plans and purposes go far beyond any one man or woman. They have been carried out in the past—and they will be carried on in the future. No one man can claim to have all the truth and also lay claim to all God wants to do. Our job is simply to take the baton from those in the past—and run the race faithfully until we are to hand the baton to the next person. Elijah had struggled with the passing of the baton. We may be overwhelmed and exhausted because we think God’s work in our area—in our state - and even in our nation and world. Our job should be to run faithfully our leg of the race—and pass the baton. God will eventually finish every race in His own way - with His own chosen people. We would have much more peace and rest if we would once again recognize that race.