1 Kings 19* Elijah flees to the wilderness. (1-8) God manifests himself toElijah. (9-13) God's answer to Elijah. (14-18) The call ofElisha. (19-21)1-8 Jezebel sent Elijah a threatening message. Carnal heartsare hardened and enraged against God, by that which shouldconvince and conquer them. Great faith is not always alikestrong. He might be serviceable to Israel at this time, and hadall reason to depend upon God's protection, while doing God'swork; yet he flees. His was not the deliberate desire of grace,as Paul's, to depart and be with Christ. God thus left Elijah tohimself, to show that when he was bold and strong, it was in theLord, and the power of his might; but of himself he was nobetter than his fathers. God knows what he designs us for,though we do not, what services, what trials, and he will takecare that we are furnished with grace sufficient. 9-13 The question God put, What doest thou here, Elijah? is areproof. It concerns us often to ask whether we are in ourplace, and in the way of our duty. Am I where I should be?whither God calls me, where my business lies, and where I may beuseful? He complained of the people, and their obstinacy in sin;I only am left. Despair of success hinders many a goodenterprise. Did Elijah come hither to meet with God? he shallfind that God will meet him. The wind, and earthquake, and fire,did not make him cover his face, but the still voice did.Gracious souls are more affected by the tender mercies of theLord, than by his terrors. The mild voice of Him who speaks fromthe cross, or the mercy-seat, is accompanied with peculiar powerin taking possession of the heart. 14-18 God repeated the question, What doest thou here? Then hecomplained of his discouragement; and whither should God'sprophets go with their complaints of that kind, but to theirMaster? The Lord gave him an answer. He declares that the wickedhouse of Ahab shall be rooted out, that the people of Israelshall be punished for their sins; and he shows that Elijah wasnot left alone as he had supposed, and also that a helper shouldat once be raised up for him. Thus all his complaints areanswered and provided for. God's faithful ones are often hishidden ones, #Ps 83:3|, and the visible church is scarcely to beseen: the wheat is lost in chaff, and the gold in dross, tillthe sifting, refining, separating day comes. The Lord knows themthat are his, though we do not; he sees in secret. When we cometo heaven we shall miss many whom we thought to have met there;we shall meet many whom we little thought to have met there.God's love often proves larger than man's charity, and far moreextended. 19-21 Elijah found Elisha by Divine direction, not in theschools of the prophets, but in the field; not reading, orpraying, or sacrificing, but ploughing. Idleness is no man'shonour, nor is husbandry any man's disgrace. An honest callingin the world, does not put us out of the way of our heavenlycalling, any more than it did Elisha. His heart was touched bythe Holy Spirit, and he was ready to leave all to attend Elijah.It is in a day of power that Christ's subjects are made willing;nor would any come to Christ unless they were thus drawn. It wasa discouraging time for prophets to set out in. A man that hadconsulted with flesh and blood, would not be fond of Elijah'smantle; yet Elisha cheerfully leaves all to accompany him. Whenthe Saviour said to one and to another, Follow me, the dearestfriends and most profitable occupations were cheerfully left,and the most arduous duties done from love to his name. May we,in like manner, feel the energy of his grace working in usmightily, and by unreserved submission at once, may we make ourcalling and election sure.
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