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LESSON V. ELIJAH AND AHAB.—1 Kings xviii. 5-18. [About 906 B. C.
RECITE V8. 17, 18. 5 And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fonn5 tains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find
grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all 6 the beasts. So they divided the land between them to pass
throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah
went another way by himself. 7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and
he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my 8 lord Elijah ? And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Be9 hold, Elijah is here. And he said, What have I sinned, that thou
woullest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? 10 As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom,
whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said,
He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, 11 that they found thee not. And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy 12 lord, Behold, Elijah is here. And it shall come to pass, as soon
as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab,
and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant 13 fear the LORD from my youth. 1 Was it not told my lord what I
did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid a
hundred men of the LORD'S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed 14 them with bread and water? | And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy 15 lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me, And Elijah
Baid, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will
surely shew myself unto him to-day. 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab 17 went to meet Elijah. And it came to pass, when Ahab
saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou 18 he that troubleth Israel : | And he answered, I
have not troubled Israel; but thon, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.
GOLDEN TEXT.-And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us ? the Lord shall trouble thee this day.-Josh. vii. 25.
CENTRAL TRUTH. - Wicked rulers trouble a nation.
CONNECTED HISTORY.-While Elijah dwelt at the widow's house her son fell sick and died; he restored the child to life; he rebuked Ahab.
ORDER OF EVENTS.—(58.) Elijah raises the widow's son to life, (59.) He meets Ahab.
TO THE SCHOLAR.- Read the sad death of the widow's son, the wonderful miracle of raising him to life by Elijah, and vs. 1-4.
NOTES.-O-ba-di-ah (servant of God). Twelve persons of this name are noticed in the Bible. This one was "governor" of Ahab's palace, Jewish tradition says he is the same as Obadiah the prophet, and the captain of Ahaziah's third company of fisty men, and that his widow asked aid of Elisha. 2 Kings iv, 1.Ba'-al-im, or “the Baalim," plural of Baal; referring to the varions forms or names under which Bual, the supreme god of the Phoenicians, was worshipped.
EXPLANATIONS AND QUESTIONS. Lesson Topics.-(I.) ELIJAH'S INTERVIEW WITH OBADIAH. (II.) ELIJAH'S INTERVIEW WITH AHAB.
I. ELIJAH'S INTERVIEW WITH OBADIAH. (5.) Obadiah, see Notes: fountains, Springs, perennial streams; brooks, torrent-courses, full in the wet season, but dry in summer; lose not all, or “that we cut not off (ourselves) from the beasts;" "all” is not in the Hebrew. (6.) divided the land, this careful search for food by the king and his chief officer shows how severe the famine was ; by himself, not that they each went alone, but merely each went a different way. (7.) Art thou that, etc., or “Art thou here, my lord."--Rawlinson. (9.) What have I sinned, Obadiah thought to obey Elijah would prove his death. (10.) no nation, none where Ahab's power reached; took an oath, of dependent kings or nations that Elijah was not in their bounds. (12.) Spirit ... carry thee-that is, help Elijah to disappear (1 Kings xvii. 3); later in the Bible, persons are said to have been suddenly borne away by the Spirit (2 Kings ii. 11; Acts viii. 39); but I... fear the Lord, or "since I fear the Lord," Ahab will slay me. (13.) 'was it not told, Obadiah pleads his kind act as a reason for not putting his life in peril now. (15.) As the Lord, a form of solemn oath.
1. Questions.-State the great miracle wrought while Elijah
was at Zarephath. How long had the famine now lasted? v. 1. How cane Obadiah to meet Elijah? Who was searching for grass with Obadiah? Why does this prove the famibe very Bevere? How did Obadiah greet Elijah? State Elijah's command. Obadiah's answer. Why he made it. How had Elijah been sought for? Where had he been all this time? ILOW
hidden? Under whose direction? What good act did Obadiah
plead? How did Elijah assure him? II. ELIJAH MEETS AHAB. (17.) “Art thou," etc., or “Thou here. O troubler of Israel?" that is, “Do you venture here?” (18.) I have not troubled Israel, but thou, Elijah makes no apologies or pleas for pardon, but boldly charges the king with sin. Baalimi See Notes. II. Questions.-How did Ahab learn where Elijah was?
Whither did he go? What did the king say to Elijah? Why?
Why does sin generally bring trouble?
(1.) The value of serving God among even wicked mon?
(3.) That the singer is the troubler of any people? Illustrations.-Trouble ending. Many of our troubles are God dragging us; and they would end if we would stand upon our feet, and go whither he would have us.- Beecher. Sin brings trouble. Inglis illustrates this by the following: If I were going along a street, and were to dash my hand throngh a large pane of glass, what harm would I receive? “You would be punished for breaking the glass." Would that be all the harm I should receive? “ Your hand would be cut by the glass." So is it with sin. If you break God's laws, you will be punished for breaking them, and your soul is hurt in the very act of breaking them.
Hymn, “My soul, be on thy guard."--Culvary Songs, p. 103.
LESSON VI. ELIJAH AND THE PROPHETS OF BAAL.-1 Kings xviii, 19-29.
About 906 B. C.]
RECITE V8. 25–29. 19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount
Carmel, and the prophets of Baal fonr hundred and fifty, and
the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's 20 table. | So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and
gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt
ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow hin: but
if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a 22 word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain
a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and 23 fifty men. I Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let
theni choose one bullock for themselves, aud cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress tho other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under : And call yo on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And
all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal,
Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress
it first ; for ye are many; and call on the name 26 of your gods, but put no fire under. | And they
took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even antil noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that
answered. And they leaped upon the altar which 27 was made. | And it came to pass at poon, that
Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god, either he is talking, or he is pur
suing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he 28 sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried
alond, and cut themselves after their manner
with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed 29 out upon them. And it came to pass, when mid
day was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, por any to answer, nor any that regarded.
GOLDEN TEXT.-How long halt ye between two opinions ? if the Lord be God, follow him : but if Baal, then follow him. 1 Kings xviii. 21.
CENTRAL TRUTH. - Men must choose whom they will serve.
Josh. xxiv. 14-25.
CONNECTED HISTORY.—Elijah, having reproved Ahab for his sin, demanded that the priests of Baal be gathered at Mount Carmel.
ORDER OF EVENT8.—(60.) Elijah and the priests of Baal at Mount Carmel.
TO THE SCHOLAR.- A careful reading of vs. 22-24 will show that the priests of Baal were compelled by the people to submit to the trial proposed by Elijah. They may have hoped to escape by some accident or deception, but Elijah required every act of the preparation and of sacrifice to be done in the most public manner. If, as some suggest, Baal was the "fire-god," the trial by fire seems yet more strikingly appropriate.
NOTES.-Carl-mel, a ridge of mountains about 12 miles long; 500 feet high at the sea, and 1600 feet high at the south-east end. It extends south-east from the Mediterranean at a point due west from the Sea of Galilee. This sacrifice was near the south-east end, at El Mahrakah, or “place of burning." An old well or spring has been found 250 feet below this “place," and the Kishon River is not far away, about 1000 feet lower.
EXPLANATIONS AND QUESTIONS. Lesson Topics.-(I.) ELIJAH'S CHALLENGE. (II.) BAAL'S FAILURE.
I. ELIJAH'S CHALLENGE.(19.) Mount Carmel, see Notes: prophets, false prophets or teachers; groves, “ prophets of Asherah," the chief goddess of the Phoenicians; eat at, or“eat from," Jezebel's table, not eating with her, but fed by her; Jezebel, wife of Ahab (see p. 18). (21.) halt, Heb. “dance around" or whirl around, first 'toward Jehovah and then toward Baal: two opinions, or “two parties;" If the Lord, decide, and follow one or the other, wholly; answered not a word, so the convicted sinner is silent. Matt. xxii. 12. (22.) I only, one against 450; the trial fair enough for the latter. (23.) give us, Baal priests to choose the animals, (24.) the god that answereth by fire, Baal-worshippers ascribed thunder and lightning to their god, and thus had no excuse for refusing this challenge; it is well spoken, "the word is good(Hebrew); the people agree to this trial. I. Questions.- What bold demand did Elijah make ? Of
whom? What nuniber of prophets did he call for? Where was the meeting held? What plain question did Elijah ask of the people? Why? With what result? How many prophets of Jehovah were present? How many of Baal's? State pine conditions of the challenge of Elijah. Why were so many particulars named? Who approved of the trial? II. BAAL'S FAILURE. (25.) Choose yon, as proposed in v. 23; your gods, rather of your god”-that is, Baal Täni (Speaker's Com.). (26.) O Baal, hear us, or "answer us;' suoma
u gonal IS, Dia! leaped, or danced up and down at the altar, as dervishes of the East now do. (This is from the same word as that translated "halt"in v.21.) (27.) mocked, laughed at them; cry aloud,"cry with a great voice"