by Clarence E. Macartney

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Elijah and John the Baptist (6 of 12)
Series: Parallel Lives of the Old and New Testament
Clarence E. Macartney


Elijah and his prophecies are catapulted on the stage of history without prelude or introduction. All we are told is that Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, stood before Ahab, king of Israel, and said, ''As the Lord God of Israel liveth before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years; but according to my word.'' Seed which is sown today does not come to the harvest today, but tomorrow. The apostasy of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin, bore its evil harvest in the days of King Ahab, when the religion of Jehovah was proscribed and there was an altar to Baal on every high hill and under every green tree.

Elijah's prophecy was accompanied by prayer, and centuries afterward when he wished to show what prayer could do, James cites the example of Elijah, saying, ''Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.'' If all there is to prayer is just the emotional reaction and effect it has upon those who pray, making us feel better and stronger, then prayer must be something else than what is called prayer in the Bible. There the effectual fervent prayer of righteous men avails much.

In his lonely retreat on the banks of the Brook Cherith the life of Elijah was miraculously preserved. He who cannot stand a miracle had better not take up the Bible, for it is nothing else than the story of God in action, one long miracle from the creation of the world to the creation of the new heavens and the new earth. Some think to make Christianity and the Bible more acceptable to men by stripping them of their one grand characteristic, the supernatural. So Rousseau, in mile makes The Vicar of Savoy say that by taking the miracles out of the Bible, we will have the world at the feet of Jesus. H ...

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