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1 Kings 17:7-24 -

Second Preparation of Elijah.

Elijah passed through his second phase of preparation under the humble roof of the widow of Sarepta. He is in the right attitude for gaining a holy preparedness for his work, for he has placed himself absolutely and directly under the guidance of God. When the word of God comes to him, he is ready to arise and go whithersoever it bids. Thus was Christ "led of the Spirit" to commence His public ministry ( Matthew 4:1 ); and throughout His whole course He recognized the same unfailing guidance. The purpose of God in sending Elijah to the poor widow was to show him, before he entered on the great conflict with idolatry, that he had at his disposal a Divine power which nothing would be able to resist. Elijah was, so to speak, to prove his arms, far from human observation, BY A PASSAGE OF DEEP PERSONAL EXPERIENCE . Hence the double miracle of the barrel of meal and the cruse of oil always full. Hence, yet more distinctly, that glorious miracle of the raising of the widow's son by the prophet. This miracle had no witnesses; nor must we marvel at this. God does not perform miracles to fascinate onlookers; He does not make a spectacle of His marvellous working. His glory is sufficiently magnified in the deliverance of a humble believer like the widow of Sarepta, and in the qualification of the prophet for his mission. Jesus Christ refused to work any miracles for show, and the power were reserved for humble hearts and lowly dwellings. Elijah has learnt to know the strength of God which is in him; he has proved it in the secresy of his soul. He has a full assurance that it will be manifested in him when he stands before Ahab, no less mightily than in the obscurity of the widow's house. This intimate personal experience of the grace of God is of incomparable value to His servants. If we would have Divine strength to use in the great conflict with sin around us, we must prove its miraculous energy in our private life. And let us remember also that our homes may be the scene of the mightiest manifestations of the grace of God, and of the most signal providential deliverances, if only our hearts be open to Him in humility and love, like the heart of the widow of Sarepta.—E. de P.

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