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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary

1 Kings 17

Verse 1

1 Kings 17:1

I. There is no finer witness to the marvellous spirit and quenchless "power" of the prophet Elijah than the fact that the impression he made upon his contemporaries retained its clearness and shone as a star of hope on Jewish thought and life after the long period of nearly nine hundred years (see Luke 1:17 ; John 1:24 ; Matthew 16:14 ).

II. Nor was this incalculable influence due in any degree to the creative fancy of the age, suffering from the deliriums of oppression, hungering for conquering heroes, and impatient to see its Redeemer. It grew out of the actual man. Elijah is a mighty man of valour, one of the heroes of God. If Luther's words were half-battles, Elijah's were whole ones, and still carry the force of an unspent ball. Not more surely is "electricity" the key-word of our century, than spiritual energy is the key-word to the place and function of Elijah.

III. What are the sources of this clear-seeing and victory-winning courage? One bright, brief sentence tells all: "As the God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand" This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith in the living God, in whose immediate presence we speak, and stand, and work. Jeremy Taylor specifies three things as the chief instruments of holy living: (1) the care of our time, (2) purity of intention, and (3) the practice of the presence of God. Elijah found, as indeed we all may, that the third includes the first and second. The fact of the real presence of the living God, the idea of an irresistible mandate from God for a specific work, and the enormous power God infuses into solitary souls for His work, carry us to the secret sources of the courageous and powerful ministry of this sturdy, grandly independent, and brave man.

J. Clifford, Daily Strength for Daily Living, p. 223.

From these words we see: (1) that the life of Elijah was a constant vision of God's presence; (2) that his life was echoing with the voice of the Divine command; (3) that his life was full of conscious obedience.

Such a life will find its sole reward where it finds its inspiration and its law. The Master's approval is the servant's best wages.

A. Maclaren, Weekday Evening Addresses, p. 1.

References: 1 Kings 17:1 . W. M. Taylor, Elijah the Prophet, p. 1; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. v., p. 96; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xi., p. 16; J. M. Neale, Sermons in Sackville College, vol. iii., pp. 9 and 17; J. R. Macduff, The Prophet of Fire, Philippians 3:17 . 1 Kings 17:1-7 . W. Landels, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxx., p. 376. 1 Kings 17:1-17 . J. R. Macduff, The Prophet of Fire , p. 49. 1 Kings 17:2-6 . W. M. Taylor, Elijah the Prophet, p. 20; J. R. Macduff, The Prophet of Fire, p. 35. 1 Kings 17:7-16 . W. M. Taylor, Elijah the Prophet, p. 38. 1 Kings 17:8 , 1 Kings 17:9 . Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiv., No. 817. 1 Kings 17:8-24 . W. Landels, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxx., p. 393. 1 Kings 17:9 . T. Guthrie, Speaking to the Heart, p. 143. 1 Kings 17:13 . G. Matheson, Moments on the Mount, p. 120; J. M. Neale, Sermons in Sackville College, vol. iii., p. 24. 1 Kings 17:14 . J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year: Sundays after Trinity, Part I., p. 363; S. Baring-Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 185. 1 Kings 17:16 . Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 59; Ibid., Sermons, vol. vi., No. 290; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 238. 1 Kings 17:17-24 . W. M. Taylor, Elijah the Prophet, p. 55; J. R. Macduff, The Prophet of Fire, p. 71. 1 Kings 17:18 . J. Keble, Sermons Preached in St. Saviour's, Leeds, 1845, p. 59; R. J. Wilberforce, Sermons for Sundays, Festivals, and Fasts, 2nd series, vol. i., p. 327. 1 Kings 17:23 , 1 Kings 17:24 . J. M. Neale, Sermons in Sackville College, vol. iii., p. 31. 1 Kings 17:24 . Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 526; J. O. Davies, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxviii., p. 296. 1 Kings 18:1-6 . Parker, Fountain, Feb. 1st, 1877; J. R. Macduff, The Prophet of Fire, p. 85. 1 Kings 18:1-19 . W. M. Taylor, Elijah the Prophet, p. 75. 1 Kings 18:1-46 . Clergyman's Magazine, vol. v., p. 20. 1 Kings 18:3 . J. Jackson Wray, Light from the Old Lamp, p. 1.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 1 Kings 17". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sbc/1-kings-17.html.