the Second Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The Lord, he is the God.”
1 Kings 18:30-40
1 Kings 18:30
Now was Elijah’s turn, and the time for Jehovah to work.
1 Kings 18:32
The challenge was made in the name of all Israel, therefore were twelve stones set up; the whole nation was now to put the grand question to the test, and see whether Jehovah would answer by fire. The prophet would have nothing to do with Baal’s altar; Christ has no concord with Belial
1 Kings 18:34
Till twelve barrels of water filled the trench, and damped all the materials for sacrifice; thus every notion of any concealed fire was effectually removed, and the trial was proved to be a fair and honest one.
1 Kings 18:37
Bishop Hall well observes, “The Baalites’ prayers were not more tedious than Elijah’s was short, and yet it was more pithy than short, charging God with the care of his covenant, of his truth, and of his own glory.” The priests of Baal were full of outward vehemence and fantastic action; Elijah’s vehemence was inward, and his manner simple, but devout. His faith was the power of his prayer. His God helped him to pray believingly, and the issue was certain. Faith uses no machinery but that of prayer, but superstition overflows with ceremonials.
1 Kings 18:38
The author of “The Days of Jezebel” has described this in noble language:
“Scarce had he spoken when a broad white glare
Scattering earth’s light, like darkness in its path
Keener than lightning, calmer than the dawn
The sword of God, that proveth him by fire
That proveth him by fire in every age
Stooped from above, and touched the sacrifice.
In the white blaze the sun grew wan, and hung
Like a pale moon upon the glimmering sky.
The fierce flame licked the water up, the wood
Crackled aloft, the very altar stones Glowed fiery red!
Clear broke the shout from that great multitude
‘Jah is the God! Jehovah, he is God.’“
1 Kings 18:39-40
Elijah had the law of God at his back in performing this execution; the men were false prophets, and were justly doomed to die. How Elijah bared his arm for that dread task, and made the dry bed of Kishon run with blood! Not thus smite we at men, but oh that sin’s errors and superstitions were thus slain, every- one of them. Not one of them should be allowed to escape. Lord, do this killing work among evil systems at this hour!
O that the fire from heaven might fall,
Our sins its ready victims find,
Seize on our lusts and burn up all,
Nor leave the least remains behind!
Then would our prostrate hearts adore,
And own the Lord our righteousness;
He is the God of saving power,
The Lord Jehovah we confess.
“Go again seven times.”
1 Kings 18:41-46
1 Kings 18:41
Only the prophet’s ears heard that sound, but faith is quick of hearing. Though not a cloud relieved the burning sky, and no wind had yet arisen from the quarter whence the rain usually came, the prophet was strong in confidence, and did not hesitate to declare it. Faith never goes beyond her warrant when she declares that the Lord will fulfil his word.
1 Kings 18:42
Different men go to different engagements. Ahab to eat and drink, and Elijah to wrestle and prevail with his God.
1 Kings 18:43
Faith keeps a watch; she bows to the earth in humility, but she sets expectation at work to look toward the sea.
1 Kings 18:43
True faith can wait; her importunity gathers strength from her Lord’s delays, and her expectation remains still on its watch-tower. It is a brave thing to be able to say, “Go again seven times.”
1 Kings 18:44
Prayer was heard, the little cloud was a sufficient token, faith was now fully assured and made her boast yet more courageously.
1 Kings 18:46
To show his loyalty, he acted as a running footman. Stern as he was in his obedience to Jehovah, he was willing to serve the king if the king would serve the Lord.
1 Kings 19:1-8
1 Kings 19:1
Ahab’s pliable nature was always impelled towards evil by his haughty spouse. Woe to the man who mates a Jezebel.
1 Kings 19:4
His intense excitement had been followed by languor, his exhilaration by depression: man is but dust. He prayed to die, and yet the Lord did not intend that he should ever die. Truly, we often know not what we ask.
1 Kings 19:6
The Lord pitied his weary, and disappointed servant, and as he had before fed him by ravens, he now honours him by supplying his need by angels. We often receive our best consolations in our worst times, and then how sweet they are!
1 Kings 19:7
Twice came the sacred refreshment; the Lord doubles our comforts when our sorrows are multiplied.
1 Kings 19:8
A glorious march, a heavenly fast, a divine sustaining. Carmel’s struggles and Samaria’s disappointments were all to be rewarded by the communion of Horeb. Blessed are all they who wait upon the Lord; he will make them “a people near unto him.”