The chapter is stark in its message. Elijah, God’s prophet, had been persecuted, harassed, and rejected by Ahab and his family for a little while now. With Ahab’s son on the throne, at the nearness of his two years, seeks guidance from an idol – a tremendous affront to the Lord (1:1-3). The Lord sends Elijah to the king’s messengers to let them/him know that he will not recover from his injuries. The king seeks to arrest Elijah but over one hundred men lose their lives in the effort (1:4-12). Finally, a third group of men come, humbly, before the prophet; the Lord lets Elijah know it is safe to go with them. When he arrives to the king, God’s prophet repeats the same message that the king will not survive his injuries (1:13-18).
Application: Whether the message of God comes from an ordinary man, like Elijah talking to the king’s servants, or it comes directly from God’s messenger himself, the message is the same. It matters not who the carrier is; those true to the Lord will repeat what the Lord said. A second lesson that is worth noting is that God’s messenger carries with him God’s protection. That does not mean that God’s servant won’t suffer harm or death, but it does mean that the one (or ones) who hurt God’s messengers will answer to the Lord in such a way that it will not be pleasant.