Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees.
1 Kings 18:42b (ESV)
Moments like this in Scripture strike me. The prophets of Baal have just been defeated. Elijah has just told Ahab that the rains are coming.
And there is this moment of interlude. All is quiet. The rains are gathering off in the distance, but they are so far away that they can’t be seen yet, not even from atop mount Carmel. Ahab, who is of the earth and has no ear for heaven, is off eating and drinking. Elijah has his knees to the earth, the blood of the false prophets staining his hands and robes even still.
He has seen the fire, even now remembers the heat upon his face as the fire that he called upon the Lord to deliver descended from the skies and devoured the offering. He closes his eyes and still sees the dazzling light.
The rains are gathering but around Elijah the air remains still. All is quiet. Elijah kneels. He kneels and trembles and breathes deeply to still his beating heart. It is the interlude. His servant stands quietly by his master.
Elijah will soon run in triumph all the way to Jezreel and, later, into the wilderness in fear for his life. And God will meet him there in the desolation.
But he doesn’t know that yet. He simply kneels, face between his knees, and breathes into his garments as he prays. It is an interlude, and the parched landscape waits expectantly.
The rains are coming.