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Here began a new order, the prophetic. Of course there had been prophets before, but with the coming of Elijah the office was elevated to national importance. From this point onwards, in the economy of the divine government, the prophet is superior to the king. Presently we shall find kings whose hearts were set upon reform, but even their work will be due to the inspiration of some prophet of God through whom His will is made known to men.
The sudden appearance of Elijah was startling and dramatic. To this day there are doubts as to his nationality and parentage. In the midst of the prevailing darkness, he flamed like a lightning flash upon history. His first words declared his authority. He affirmed that Jehovah, the God of Israel, lived, and announced that in the message he was about to deliver he was speaking for the enthroned Jehovah. The divine action in sending Elijah, and in the method adopted with regard to him, is very remarkable. All earthly authority and protection were swept aside as being unnecessary. In simplest ways God protected His messenger by the brook and at Zarephath. His first appearance was to pronounce judgment. The nation had become wholly materialized, and the first stroke fell on material things. The heavens were to give no rain. The judgment thus announced fell immediately, while the prophet passed out of sight of court and people to the divine care, which was simple and perfect.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on 1 Kings 17". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany