The Importance of Hiding :: Warren Wiersbe
Read 1 Kings 17:1-7; 18:1-2
There are two divine commandments here: "Go, hide thyself" and "Go, show thyself!" The first was probably more difficult to obey because Elijah was a fiery prophet who wanted to deliver his message and bring his people back to God. Yet, God took him out of circulation for three and a half years (Ja. 5:17) until His time arrived for judgment.
Why did God "hide" Elijah? There may be many reasons, but certainly the most important is this: He was preparing the prophet for the great contest with Baal on Mount Carmel. During those three and a half years of retirement, Elijah was learning to wait, to pray, and to trust God for every need. Also, he was learning the value of being a blessing to one person. Before he could show himself, the prophet had to hide himself and learn the lessons God had prepared for him.
Too often today God's people show themselves before they are ready to serve, and then they have to go hide themselves in shame! We are so anxious to serve the Lord that we forget to worship Him. Yet, the success of a man's public ministry depends on the success of his private fellowship with God. It is fine to go "without the camp" to serve Him (Heb. 13:13), but first we must go within "the veil" to worship Him (Heb. 10:19-20).
If God puts you in hiding for a season, do not fret over it. He is preparing you for an even greater ministry in the days to come.
(Copyright, Warren W. Wiersbe. First appeared in Thoughts for Men on the Move. May not be copied or reproduced without express written permission of the author.)