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.’“
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.”
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.
Different men go to different engagements. Ahab to eat and drink, and Elijah to wrestle and prevail with his God.
Faith keeps a watch; she bows to the earth in humility, but she sets expectation at work to look toward the sea.
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.”
Prayer was heard, the little cloud was a sufficient token, faith was now fully assured and made her boast yet more courageously.
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.
Ahab’s pliable nature was always impelled towards evil by his haughty spouse. Woe to the man who mates a Jezebel.
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.
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!
Twice came the sacred refreshment; the Lord doubles our comforts when our sorrows are multiplied.
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.”