"What doest thou here, Elijah?" was a question that the Bible tells us God put to the prophet Elijah. See I Kings, chaps. 18-19. It must have been a jolting query. After his life had been threatened by the queen, he had fled into the wilderness and then to Horeb, the mount of God.
Before this, Elijah had proved the power and presence of God in many ways: providing food for a widow and her son during a drought; restoring the same woman's son when he had apparently died; calling down fire upon the sacrifice before the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. It was this last act that led the queen, Jezebel, to threaten him. Realizing that he might be killed at any moment, he fled into the wilderness.
There he prayed, "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers." Even though he had proved that complete reliance on God enables one to overcome formidable foes, perhaps at that moment it was hard to resist fear and discouragement. Yet the Bible tells us an angel brought him food, and he was able to journey on to Mount Horeb. And on the mountain he learned that God is not in the earthquake, wind, lightning, fire, but is heard through "a still small voice." Whatever doubts and fears he may have had in the wilderness were eliminated by this experience of God's presence, for the Bible tells us that this incident was followed by other achievements and eventually by his translation.