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and when he had built an altar with them, and laid the sacrifice upon it, Elijah made a trench or ditch all round it. Then he bade the people pour four barrels of water over the altar, the sacrifice, and the wood on which it was to burn. This he caused to be done three times, until everything was running with water, and the trench around was full. It was now the cus. tomary hour for the evening sacrifice, and Elijah came before the altar, and prayed to his God. “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 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.” The answer to Elijah's prayer was immediate, and plain. The fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, crying, " The Lord He is the God! the LORD He is the God!”
Then Elijah bade the people fall upon the priests of Baal, and slay them, and every one
was put to death by the brook Kishon. Ahab does not seem to have sought to defend them ; he was probably frightened and overawed. When the prophet bade him, “Get thee up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of abund. ance of rain ;"—Ahab seems to have believed him, and to have obeyed at once. Then Elijah went to the top of Mount Carmel, and cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. After awhile he called his servant and bade him, “Go up now, and look toward the sea.” The man went, and returned, saying, “There is nothing." Elijah bade him go seven times, and the seventh time the servant came back and told him, “Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand."
Then Elijah sent his servant to Ahab with this message, “Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.' Meantime the heavens grew black with clouds, the wind arose, and there was a great rain. Ahab went down to Jezreel in his chariot, and Elijah hastened down also on foot, and arrived there before the king.
ELIJAH ON MOUNT HOREB.
It seems as if Ahab might have given up his striving against the LORD, if he had been left to himself after the solemn lessons of Mount Carmel. He was a weak man, cowardly and mean even in his wickedness. Jezebel was far more resolute in her evil deeds, and throughout the history of this miserable king and queen, we always find her suggesting acts of sin, and urging her husband on in them.'
On this occasion Ahab told Jezebel all that had passed on Mount Carmel, and how Elijah had slain the priests of Baal. But so far from her seeing in these events a proof that Baal was 'no God, she only felt a burning desire for revenge. Jezebel sent a message to 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." On hearing
” this, the prophet arose to save his life, and went to the wilderness of Beersheba. There he sat down under a juniper tree, weary and spent, discouraged as to the cause he strove for, and fancying, as men are ever apt to fancy, that because he saw no way out of the danger,
the LORD's hand was not powerful enough to bring him safely forth. In his grief and fear he requested that he might die, and prayed, saying, “ It is enough, now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers.'
. Worn out in body and mind, Elijah slept under the juniper tree, until an angel touched him, and bade him arise and eat. Elijah had been too often fed by a miracle already to wonder at seeing there in the wilderness a cake of baked bread, and a cruse of water. He ate and drank, and then slept once more. A second time the angel of the LORD touched him, and said, “ Arise, and eat; because the journey is too great for thee."
Truly this heaven-sent bread was a type of that of which our Blessed LORD told His disciples, that those who ate, should never hunger; since in the strength of this food the prophet went for forty days and forty nights unto Horeb, the Mount of God. Even as before God had communed wonderfully with His servant Moses on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights ; and as later we read of our Blessed SAVIOUR being led for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness ; so now was it with Elijah. But little of the mysterious dealings of God with His servant is revealed to us. The prophet rested in a cave, and while there, the LORD came to him, and said, “ What doest thou here,
Then Elijah's sorrow and despair broke forth, and he answered, “I have been very jealous for the LORD 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.” The Lord did not answer Elijah’s trouble at
“Go forth, and stand upon the Mount before the LORD,” was His bidding. And as the prophet stood there waiting his Master's will, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the 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.
When Elijah heard That, he knew that the LORD was there; and he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the cave's mouth. Then there came a Voice, saying again,