President Obama recently presented the Presidential Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Guintas. Guintas received the honor for his unusual courage in rescuing two fellow soldiers. Many years ago, Elijah exhibited incredible courage. That bold prophet confronted Baal worshipers on Mt Carmel. He demonstrated that Yahweh was the true God. But after this great show of courage, the prophet fled the country because he was afraid of the wrath of Jezebel. After fleeing, Elijah arrived at Mt. Horeb. There in a cave he complained to God that God’s people had forsaken the covenant, broken down the altars, and slain the Lord’s prophets. He complained that he had stood alone as he challenged Baal. God then helped Elijah see that despite his fears, he had not yet finished his work. God told Elijah to go stand in the front of the cave. There he heard the sound of the wind, he felt an earthquake, and saw the fire; God did not appear in any of these dramatic ways. Instead, God revealed Himself to Elijah in a still small voice. The voice inspired in Elijah humility and reverence before God. God then said to him, go back where you came from! Anoint a new king of Syria and Israel; appoint Elisha as a prophet. When these finish their work, the people you now fear will be gone from the land. Courage always pays when it is God inspired and God directed.
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