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Now when Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah had put the prophets to death with the sword, she sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “As surely as you are Elijah and I am Jezebel, may the gods do to me what they will and more too, if I do not make your life as the life of one of those prophets by to-morrow about this time.”

Then he was afraid and fled for his life. And he came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness and sat down under a desert tree, and he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Jehovah, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

Then he lay down and slept under the desert tree, but an angel touched him and said to him, “Rise, eat!” When he looked, he saw there at his head a loaf, baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. But the angel of Jehovah came again the second time and touched him and said, “Rise, eat, or else the journey will be too long for you.” So he rose and ate and drank and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mountain of God.

Then Jehovah passed by, and a very violent wind tore the mountain apart and broke the rocks in pieces before Jehovah; but Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake; but Jehovah was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but Jehovah was not in the fire. After the fire there was the sound of a low whisper. As soon as Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then he heard a voice saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very jealous for Jehovah the God of hosts, for the Israelites have forsaken thee, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword, and I only am left; and they seek to take my life.”

Then Jehovah said to him, “On your way back go to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you arrive there, anoint Hazael to rule over Aram, Jehu, the son of Nimshi, to rule over Israel, and Elisha, the son of Shaphat, to be prophet in your place. Then every one who escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death; and every one who escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. Yet I will spare seven thousand in Israel–all who have not worshipped Baal and kissed his image.”

After he had left, Elijah found Elisha the son of Shaphat, as he was ploughing with twelve pairs of oxen. When Elijah went up to him and threw his mantle upon him, he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Elijah said to him, “Go back, for what have I done to you?” So Elisha turned back and took one pair of oxen and offered them as a sacrifice and, using the wooden ploughs and yokes as fuel, boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people to eat. Then he arose and followed Elijah and served him.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Gods-Low-Whisper.shtml

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When any great blessing is awaiting us, the devil is sure to try and make it so disagreeable to us that we shall miss it.

It is a good thing to know him as a liar, and remember, when he is trying to prejudice us strongly against any cause, that very likely the greatest blessing of our life lies there.

Spurgeon once said that the best evidence that God was on our side is the devil’s growl, and we are generally pretty safe in following a thing according to Satan’s dislike for it. Beloved, take care, lest in the very line where your prejudices are setting you off from God’s people and God’s truth, you are missing the treasures of your life.

Take the treasures of heaven no matter how they come to you, even if it be as earthly treasures generally are, like the kernel inside the rough shell, or the gem in the bosom of the hard rock.

I have seen Jesus and my heart is dead to all beside,

I have seen Jesus, and my wants are all, in Him, supplied.

I have seen Jesus, and my heart, at last, is satisfied,

Since I’ve seen Jesus.

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/a-b-simpson-devotional.shtml

 


“He led them forth.” Forth out of the world–forth out of sin–forth out of a profession–forth out of a name to live–forth out of everything hateful to his holy and pure eyes. “To go to a city of habitation.” They had no city to dwell in here below; but they were journeying to a city of habitation above, whose walls and bulwarks are salvation, and whose gates are praise; where there are eternal realities to be enjoyed by the soul; where there is something stable and eternal; something to satisfy all the wants of a capacious and immortal spirit, and give it that rest which it never could find while wandering here below. If we have a city here, we want no city above; and if we have a city above, we want no city here.

This then must be our state and case; either to be pilgrims, journeying onwards, through troubles, to things above, or taking up our abode below; seeking heaven here, or heaven hereafter; resting upon the world, or resting upon the Lord; panting after the things of time, or panting after the things of eternity; satisfied in self, or satisfied only in Christ. One of the two must be our state and case. The Lord decide it clearly in the hearts of his people that they are on his side; and give us to know and feel that our very restlessness and inability to find food and shelter in the things of time and sense, are leading us more earnestly and believingly to seek after the things that have reality in them; that finding no city to dwell in here below, we may press forward to be manifestly enjoying testimonies of being citizens of that city which is above, “which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God!”

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/j-c-philpot-daily-portions.shtml


When Asa had been ruler of Judah for thirty-one years Omri became ruler over Israel, and he ruled twelve years. He bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; and he built a city on the hill and named it Samaria, after Shemer, the owner of the hill.

When Omri died, Ahab his son ruled in his place. But Ahab displeased Jehovah more than all the kings who had ruled before him. He married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, and then began to worship the Phoenician god Baal. He also built an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he built in Samaria.

Then Elijah from Tishbe in Gilead said to Ahab, “As surely as Jehovah the God of Israel lives, whom I serve, there shall be no dew nor rain for years except as I announce it.”

Then this message from Jehovah came to Elijah: “Go from here and hide yourself near the Brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”

So he obeyed the command of Jehovah and lived near the Brook Cherith. The ravens brought him bread every morning and meat every evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there had been no rain in the land.

Then this message from Jehovah came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath which belongs to Sidon, and live there. I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he went to Zarephath.

When he came to the gate of the city, a widow was there gathering sticks. Calling to her, he said, “Bring me, I beg of you, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” As she was going to get it, he called after her, “Bring also a bit of bread with you.” She replied, “As surely as Jehovah your God lives, I have nothing baked, and only one handful of meal in the jar and a little oil in the jug. Now I am gathering a few sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” Elijah said to her, “Fear not; go and do as you have said, but first bake for me a little dough and bring it to me. Afterward make some for yourself and your son. For Jehovah the God of Israel declares: ‘The jar of meal shall not be empty, nor the jug of oil fail, until Jehovah sends rain upon the earth.'”

So she did as Elijah directed; and she and her child, as well as Elijah, had food to eat. From that day the jar of meal was never empty and the jug of oil did not fail, as Jehovah had said through Elijah.

Now after this the woman’s son fell sick; and his sickness was so severe that he stopped breathing. So she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to remind me of my sin by taking the life of my son!” He said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms and carried him up into the upper room where he was staying and laid him on his own bed. Then he prayed earnestly to Jehovah and said, “O Jehovah, my God, hast thou also brought misfortune upon this widow, with whom I am staying, by taking the life of her son?” And he stretched himself upon the child three times and prayed to Jehovah and said, “O Jehovah, my God, I pray thee, give back this child’s life to him again.”

So Jehovah listened to Elijah’s prayer; and the life of the child came back to him, and he sat up. Then Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house and gave him to his mother; and said, “See, your son lives!” The woman said to him, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the message of Jehovah that you speak is true.”

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Elijah-And-The-Widows-Son.shtml


…a good conscience; which some having put away (thrust from them–R. V.) concerning faith have made shipwreck–1Ti 1:19

Tampering with Conscience

We must try to understand what the apostle means when he speaks of putting away a good conscience. He means what in the idiom of today we describe as tampering with conscience. The good conscience of our text does not just signify an approving conscience. It signifies a conscience that is working well, just as we might speak of a good clock. And as a man can tamper with his clock, so can he subtly tamper with his conscience until at last it ceases to be good. Let conscience work in liberty, and it registers unalterable certainties. It takes such things as truth and love and purity and stamps them with the signature of God. And whenever anybody begins to doubt and question these abiding and instinctive certainties, he is thrusting from him a good conscience. Men do that often under the stress of passion. They make the worse appear the better reason. They are eager to get the approval of their conscience for actions that are dubious or immoral. And conscience is such a delicate adjustment that for long periods they can achieve this, though I question if they can ever do it permanently. Such action implies a certain violence, and the word Paul uses carries that suggestion. It is the word that is used of the Egyptian when he pushed away the interfering Moses (Act 7:27). A little violent handling of one’s conscience like a little violent handling of one’s clock, and we silence the chiming of God’s hours.

Tampering with Conscience Means the Ruin of Life

Now we know that when anyone does this, he invariably makes shipwreck of his life. But Paul tells us that if anyone does this, he invariably makes shipwreck of his faith. Our Christian faith is a faith that God is love, and that in His love He gave us the Lord Jesus. It is a faith that we all are precious to the Father and are being guided to a perfect life. And this inspiring and sustaining faith, says Paul, does not strike its roots into a brilliant intellect; it strikes them into the soil of a good conscience. Tamper with conscience and God becomes unreal. Circumvent it, and the invisible grows dim. Wrest and manipulate its instant verdicts, and love and honor disappear from heaven. A man may have faith in all the Christian verities though his intellectual processes be childish; but he never can have faith in them once he begins to juggle with his conscience. To put it in more modern language, the conditions of all living faith are moral. They lie not in intellectual apprehension, but in honesty of intention and of heart. All which is fitted to be of infinite comfort to those who grope in intellectual darkness and are troubled because they cannot understand. Nobody makes shipwreck of his faith because he is powerless to understand. No ship that has set sail for heaven ever founders because the brain is dull. Shipwreck comes when the inward voice of conscience, challenging to truth and love and purity, is disowned in the interests of sin.

The Pure in Heart Do Not Tamper with Their Conscience

That this, too, was the teaching of our Lord is seen in His most exquisite beatitude. Blessed are the pure in heart, He said, for they shall see God. Now, to see God is not to set our eyes on Him. It is to have a living faith that He exists. It is to believe, what Christ Himself believed, that He is a loving and redeeming Father. It is to believe that just because He loves us He is guiding us with perfect understanding and carrying out His purpose in the world. A faith like that alters the whole of life and makes the sun shine in the darkest day. A faith like that is better than a fortune. It inspires serenity and courage. And the one condition of that faith, according to the teaching of our Lord, is not intellectual but moral. To be pure of heart is not to be perfect, else were there no hope for any man. It is to be sincere and single-eyed. It is to refuse to juggle with our conscience. It is to hold to it through every temptation that the imperious voice of conscience must be heeded, and that love and truth and purity and loyalty are demanded at whatsoever cost. Live like that, says Jesus, and you will never live long in a godless universe. Do your duty, as conscience tells you to, and God will surely bless in your life. The strange thing is that with Jesus, as with Paul, there is no word of intellectual processes. The conditions of belief are moral.

So are we led to this great truth for all who are really eager to believe. The way to faith is not the way of intellect. It is rather the simple way of duty. Far better than puzzling our brains is to do the next thing that is demanded. It may be hard to know what we should believe: it is seldom hard to know what we should do. And in doing that, at the command of conscience, with a single eye and a pure heart, we find ourselves, perhaps when we never dreamed of it, on the avenue that leads to God. We come to feel that truth is on the throne, or conscience never could demand truth. We come to feel that love is in the heavens, because at every hazard we must love. And as truth and love and purity and honor are but idle words without a person, duty brings us to the feet of God. To be pure-hearted is the way to see. To do His will the way to know. To listen to conscience and never seek to juggle with it is to touch the reality of all its values. He who does that, although the winds be contrary, will never suffer shipwreck in the deeps, but will come at last to his desired haven.

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/george-h-morrison-devotional-sermons-devotional.shtml


When Solomon died, Rehoboam his son ruled after him. As soon as Jeroboam, who was still in Egypt, heard that Solomon had died, he returned at once to his home town, Zeredah in Mount Ephraim.

Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had come to Shechem to make him ruler. But they said to Rehoboam, “Your father laid a heavy yoke upon us. Now make the hard service of your father and the heavy yoke that he laid upon us lighter, and we will serve you.” He said to them, “Go away for three days; then come again to me.” So the people went away.

Then Rehoboam asked advice from the old men who had been in the service of Solomon his father during his lifetime and inquired, “What answer do you advise me to give this people?” They said to him, “If now you will serve this people and give them a favorable answer, then they will be your servants forever.”

But he rejected the advice which the old men had given him and asked the young men who had grown up with him and had been in his service. And he said to them, “What answer do you advise that we give to this people who have said to me, ‘Make the yoke that your father laid upon us lighter’?” The young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Make this answer to them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! While my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will make your yoke heavier; my father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scourges.'”

So when all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as he had directed, he answered the people harshly and did not follow the advice which the old men had given him, but spoke to them as the young men had advised, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will make your yoke still heavier; my father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scourges.” So Rehoboam paid no attention to the demand of the people.

When all Israel saw that he paid no attention to their demand they gave him this answer: “What interest have we in David? We have nothing in common with the son of Jesse! To your tents, O Israel! Now look out for your house, O David!”

So the Israelites went to their homes.

Then Rehoboam sent to them Adoniram, who was over the men who did forced labor. But when all the Israelites stoned him to death, Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. So Israel has refused to obey the house of David to the present day.

As soon as all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly of the people and made him ruler over all Israel. None remained loyal to the house of David except the tribe of Judah.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/Rehoboams-Great-Mistake.shtml


“In the selfsame day, as God had said unto him” (Gen. 17:23).

Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Every time God calls us to any duty, He is offering to make a covenant with us; doing the duty is our part, and He will do His part in special blessing.

The only way we can obey is to obey “in the selfsame day,” as Abraham did. To be sure, we often postpone a duty and then later on do it as fully as we can. It is better to do this than not to do it at all. But it is then, at the best, only a crippled, disfigured, half-way sort of duty-doing; and a postponed duty never can bring the full blessing that God intended, and that it would have brought if done at the earliest possible moment.

It is a pity to rob ourselves, along with robbing God and others, by procrastination. “In the selfsame day” is the Genesis way of saying, “Do it now.” –Messages for the Morning Watch

Luther says that “a true believer will crucify the question, ‘Why?‘ He will obey without questioning.” I will not be one of those who, except they see signs and wonders, will in no wise believe. I will obey without questioning.

“Ours not to make reply,
Ours not to reason why,
Ours but to do and die.”

Obedience is the fruit of faith; patience, the bloom on the fruit. —Christina Rossetti

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/mrs-charles-cowman-streams-in-the-desert-devotional.shtml