18:1 And it came to pass [after] many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the a third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.
(a) After that he departed from the river Cherith. 18:3 And Ahab called Obadiah, which [was] the governor of [his] house. (Now Obadiah b feared the LORD greatly:
(b) God had begun to work his fear in his heart, but had not yet brought him to the knowledge which is also required of the godly: that is, to profess his Name openly. 18:7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah c met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, [Art] thou that my lord Elijah?
(c) God often pities the wicked for the sake of the godly, and causes Elijah to meet with Obadiah, that the blessing might be known to be granted for the sake of Gods children. 18:12 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 d fear the LORD from my youth.
(d) I am not of the wicked persecutors that you should procure to me such displeasure, but serve God and favour his children. 18:15 And Elijah said, [As] the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew e myself unto him to day.
(e) By my presence I will declare that you have told him the truth. 18:18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but f thou, and thy fathers house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.
(f) The true ministers of God should not only not permit falsehoods, but should boldly reprove the wicked slanderers without respect of persons. 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long g halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
(g) Be consistent in religion and do not be indifferent, whether you follow God or Baal, or whether you serve God wholly or in part, ( Zephaniah 1:5 ). 18:24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth h by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
(h) By sending down fire from heaven to burn the sacrifice. 18:26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed [it], and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But [there was] no voice, nor any that answered. And they i leaped upon the altar which was made.
(i) As men possessed by some strange spirit. 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he [is] a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, [or] peradventure he sleepeth, and must be l awaked.
(l) He mocks their beastly madness, who think that by any instance or suit, the dead and vile idols can help their worshippers in their necessity. 18:35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he m filled the trench also with water.
(m) By this he declared the excellent power of God, who contrary to nature could make the fire burn even in the water, so that they should have no opportunity to doubt that he is the only God. 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou [art] the LORD God, and [that] thou hast turned their heart back n again.
(n) Though God permits his to run in blindness and error for a time, yet eventually he calls them home to him by some notorious sign and work. 18:40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not o one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
(o) He commanded them that as they were truly persuaded to confess the only God: so they should serve him with all their power, and destroy the idolaters his enemies. 18:43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, [There is] nothing. And he said, Go again p seven times.
(p) As Gods spirit moved him to pray, so was he strengthened by the same that he did not faint, but continued still till he had obtained. 18:46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran q before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
(q) He was so strengthened by Gods spirit that he ran faster than the chariot was able to run.