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Morning Meditation
“The plan unfolded”
by Morning Meditation   
March 8th, 2016

The plan, as Elijah unfolded it to Ahab, was eminently adapted to the circumstances of the case. All Israel was to be gathered by royal summons to Carmel, which reared itself above the plain of Esdraelon, a noble site for a national meeting ground. Special care was to be taken to secure the presence of the representatives of the systems that had dared to rival the worship of Jehovah: "The prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table" (1 Kings 18:19). A test was then to be imposed on these rival systems, which the adherents of Baal could not possibly refuse, for he was the sun-god, and this was a trial by fire.

Elijah knew that the altar of Baal would remain smokeless. He knew that Jehovah would answer his faith by fire, as He had done again and again in the glorious past. He felt convinced also that the people, unable to escape the evidence of their senses, would forever disavow the accursed systems of Phoenicia and return once more to the worship of the God of their fathers.

We sometimes seem to think that that answer of fire was probably so much the result of God's determination as to have been largely independent of any special exercise of the prophet's faith. We suppose that more faith and prayer were needed to bring the rain than to bring the leaping, consuming flame. We consider that the one needed the intense sevenfold prayer, while the other needed only the few sentences spoken in the audience of the amazed people, at the moment of sacrifice. But this is a very superficial reading of the story. It is not in harmony with the general dealings of God. As much fervent, believing prayer was needed for the fire as for the rain, and the answer by fire would never have come that day if the previous days had not been spent in the presence-chamber of God. The prayer during ten days of waiting, in the upper room, must precede the descent of the Holy Ghost, as a baptism of fire, on the day of Pentecost.

It is a sublime spectacle -- this yielded, surrendered man, waiting on Carmel in steadfast faith; the gathering of the people; and the unfolding of the purpose of God. He had no fear about the issue, and as the days rolled by, his soul rose in higher and ever higher joy. He expected soon to see a nation at the feet of God.

And he was all this, not because he was of a different make to ourselves; but because he had got into the blessed habit of dealing with God at first hand, as a living reality, in whose presence it was his privilege and glory always to stand. - F. B. Meyer

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