« VorigeDoorgaan »
Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that auswered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27 And it came
27 This scornful mocking was retributive. So God warns those who mock his warnings" I also will mock, when your fear cometh." or he is in a journey, or per
to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, adventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the
28 Heathen rites were frequently attended with extreme cruelty.
spiritually, many a time and oft, dry 38 And does not my heavenly Father up rivers of waters of affliction, which
seem ready to destroy the bright hope of our sacrifice of prayer, and praise, and thanksgiving?
wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
EVENING. 1 KINGS Xix.
AND Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. 3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel
3 Certainly Elijah seems here to have lost his wonted courage. At the same time we read, that even our blessed Lord, when his enemies to withdraw himself from them. pressed him sore, found it prudent
Every soul, under severity of trial, may have occasional seasons of sadness, which nothing can remove-but a sense of God's presence,
6 It is well for us habitually to repose our trust on the divine mercy; then, though "heaviness may endure for a night," joy cometh "in the morning." Thus it was with Elijah why should it not be so with thee?
7 Angels "succour and defend us" also, though unseen. Our faith is, that they are appointed of God to minister to us on earth, even as they
do him service in heaven.
touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been 10 Some natural fear will cling to very jealous for the LORD the most faithful servants of God. God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. "And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the terms of gentleness, typical of that mountains, and brake in Gospel, to prepare the way for which pieces the rocks before the all his former dispensations tended. LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus : and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over
11 As on this mount Horeb God had delivered his law with all the awful majesty of thunderings and lightnings, terrible and unearthly, indicative of the severity of that dispensation; so now he declared his will in
Israel and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen,
and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? 21 And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.
21 When once ordained to his holy office, how promptly does Elisha proceed to undertake its duties, and how faithfully did he sustain its authority. God grant that the ministers of the Gospel and the people committed to their charge may now vie in their readiness to serve Godwhether to minister, or to be ministered unto.
The tenth Sunday after Trinity.
MORNING. 1 Kings xxi.
AND it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I
2 This mighty monarch of Israel and conqueror of the hosts of Syria pines away in misery, because a gar
den of herbs is withheld from him.
Not only is it a natural and praiseworthy feeling in a man to prize his ancient inheritance, whether it be earthly possessions, or that better inheritance, a high and honourable name; but by the Jewish law, an inheritance was forbidden to be alienated. The refusal, therefore, on the part of Naboth was an act of piety. This Ahab knew; and yet, though as a sovereign he was specially bound to observe the law, he was the first to break it. Who shall wonder that God's anger followed him?
should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. *And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. So she wrote 8 This excuseth not Ahab. All letters in Ahab's name, and that Jezebel wrote or did could have sealed them with his seal, and no weight without his sanction, either sent the letters unto the elders granted or assumed *.
+ What a lesson is this to us all! teaching, that it is not the having much, but the coveting little, which constitutes riches-the contracting our desires, not enlarging our possessions. With contentment, a dinner of herbs is happiness-where envy is, kingdoms satisfy not.
and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: and set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned,
In either case he sinned. If he granted permission, he became avowedly a participator in the guilt. If his influence were exercised privily by means of "his seal" of office, that very fact indicates a carelessness in the government of the state, which, involving as it may a nation's welfare, is in those who bear rule, a sin.