Why Was Elijah Depressed?

Elijah prayed and the rain came back after three and half years of drought. He called down fire from heaven in full view of the Israelites and his rivals – the prophets of Baal. To crown it all on that very day, the power of the Holy Spirit came on him and he soared on the wings of the Spirit to Jezreel, ahead of a man riding on a chariot.

Elijah said, ‘Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’…and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.
~1 Kings 18:44-45

It was such an incredible demonstration of power. But you see, as soon as Elijah got into the city, he got a message from Jezebel the Queen.

“So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
~1 Kings 19:1-2

Jezebel basically said to Elijah, “I’m going to kill you for killing the prophets of Baal.’’ And the moment Elijah heard this, the Bible said he was afraid and ran away.

Now, we notice that he was not just afraid as he was running. He was also very depressed. He began to say things to God like: “I have had enough.” “Take my life.” “I’m not better than my forefathers.” He became miserable. He was really down in the dumps.

Some time I read this Scripture and I thought to myself, was Elijah being ungrateful to God? Did he have any right to be depressed? He had just had a series of experiences that very few men ever get to have in a million lifetimes. Was there any reason for him to be sad at this point in time in his life? Why was Elijah depressed?

I think that he was depressed for a simple reason: Elijah came to that point in his life, where he had to ask himself the question, what’s the point? What’s the point in calling down fire from heaven if it won’t transform my nation?