Elijah is the solitary Prophet who cultivated the thirst of the only God and lived in His presence. He is the contemplative enraptured by the ardent passion for the absolute of God, whose “word burnt like a torch”. He is the mystic who, after a long and tiresome road, learns and reads the new signs of the presence of God.
Elijah is first introduced in 1 Kings 17:1 as delivering a message from God to Ahab, king of Israel. He is sometimes known as the “Tishbite,” being from the town of Tishbe.
Having delivered his message to Ahab, he retired at the command of God to a hiding-place by the brook Cherith, beyond Jordan, where he was fed by ravens. When the brook dried up God sent him to the widow of Zarephath, a city of Zidon, from whose scanty store he was supported for the space of two years. During this period the widow’s son died, and was restored to life by Elijah (1 Kings 17:2-24).
During these two years a famine prevailed in the land. At the close of this period of retirement and of preparation for his work, Elijah met Obadiah, one of Ahab’s officers, whom he had sent out to seek for pasturage for the cattle, and bade him go and tell his master that Elijah was there. The king came and met Elijah, and reproached him as the “troubler of Israel.” It was then proposed that sacrifices should be publicly offered, for the purpose of determining whether Baal or the Israelite God was the true God. This was done on Mount Carmel; the result was that a miracle took place convincing those watching that Baal was false and that the Israelite God was real. The prophets of Baal were then put to death by the order of Elijah.Read More »