Monday, July 3, 2017

Elijah Prayed

And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lᴏʀᴅ God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” … And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lᴏʀᴅ came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.” … Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’” Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. (1Ki 17:1; 18:1, 41–45)

Elijah goes up to the top of Mount Carmel in order to ask for rain, even though he knows that Solomon had mentioned the rain in his prayer for the people* and the Lord had promised him that He would have given rain to those who prayed to Him inside the temple of Jerusalem. Therefore Elijah prayed, so that they might see the miracle, because many of them still had not realized that the famine that overwhelmed them had been sent by the Lord through Elijah, who had prayed to Him. In order that the word might confirm that Elijah had bound the heavens and now opened them, it was necessary that the people saw the prophet kneeling down in prayer, in the act of causing the rain to calm down through his prayer.

Ephrem the Syrian, On the First Book of Kings 18.42

* 1 Kings 8:35–36

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