The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 87 of 185
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power on Elijah's part. It was true that the Jew accorded him a unique position among
the prophets, for in Mal. 4: 5 he was declared to be the forerunner of Messiah and
furthermore he was miraculously translated to heaven. Yet Elijah was a man of the Word
and he knew Deut. 11: 16, 17:
"Take heed to yourselves . . . . . and ye turn aside and serve other gods, and worship
them, and then the Lord's wrath be kindled against you, and He shut up the heaven, that
there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off
the good land which the Lord giveth you."
Israel in the time of Elijah was largely in apostasy and all Elijah was doing was to ask
the Lord to be as good as His Word and so discipline the nation to bring them back to
repentance. In I King 17: 1 we are told:
"And Elijah the Tishbite . . . . . said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth before
Whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years but according to my word."
Later in I Kings 18: 1 we have:
"And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the
third year, saying, go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth."
Moreover, the Lord Jesus confirms this in Luke 4: 25:
"But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the
heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout the
Elijah was a righteous man and obviously his prayer life was based upon the Word of
God, hence its effectiveness. Yet in himself he was of `like passions' as ourselves, just a
normal man with normal limitations.
This should be a stimulus to ourselves that our own prayer ministry may be real and
effective for the furtherance of the truth. The study of this practical epistle has been a
help we trust, in our applying the great principle of right division in our interpretation of
the holy Scriptures. We shall have learned to distinguish what is eternally true in this
portion of God's Word and what is dispensational, that is, true at that time and for that
particular calling related to believers who were of the twelve tribes of Israel (James 1: 1).
It is only in this way shall we get to know the fullness of truth for today. We shall
leave the miraculous and evidential gift of healing where the Word puts it, that is as an
accompaniment of the Lord's earthly ministry to Israel and the Acts period following,
when Israel was still being dealt with by the Lord and was still "first" (Acts 3: 26;
13: 46; Rom. 1: 16; 2: 8-10). This does not mean that the Lord does not now heal His
people. His touch has not lost its ancient power, but all is subject to His wise will. We
can constantly go to Him with all our problems including illness and leave all in His
loving hands. We shall be saved from the false assumption that it is God's will that
everyone should enjoy continually perfect physical health. Paul learned this with his
"thorn in the flesh" which the Lord allowed to remain so that the Apostle could
experience more deeply His abounding grace.