Yet I Reserve Seven Thousand in Israel
Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel–all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him (1 Kings 19:18 NIV).
There has been no time like ours in world history. This is a time of great moral failure, rebellion, materialism, and idolatry in the human heart like never before. If you look around you, it is easy to get discouraged. This is especially true if you are serving God faithfully. It might seem that all your efforts are getting you nowhere. Instead of seeing the kingdom of God come, you see evil on the increase. You feel like giving up altogether. Wait a minute though! The mighty prophet Elijah felt the same way too.
Possibly, the great struggles with spiritual forces of darkness have left you exhausted. Maybe, after a great victory you feel threatened by enemy forces. At such a time you are alone. As you analyze the results of your victory it seems that no visible change or advance has occurred in the kingdom of God. Therefore you are tempted to complain to God. You are about to tell Him that you have been championing God’s cause all alone. And also that you are now almost going to give up since there is no one to stand along with you.
God’s reply to this complaint is worth your study. He asked Elijah to go back the way he came; for God had work for him to finish. More importantly, God told Elijah that He had seven thousand people in Israel who were totally and absolutely faithful to Him. Elijah had failed to see this. Of course, God had in Elijah a great fighter who was used to confront the forces of evil. But God also had His faithful followers unseen by the world.
Even today, as you feel discouraged by the obvious absence of committed Christian friends; know that God always has His faithful followers. They are known to Him; if not known to you. Your work may be in the public eye; their calling might be just to remain faithful to God in secret. So do not get discouraged. And do not give up. Continue the work that God gave you and finish it.