The Rustling and the Rain
1 Kings 18:41-46
And Elijah said to Ahab, Get you up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.…

The solemn scenes Ahab had just witnessed would, we should think, have made the most flippant thoughtful, and earnest; but Ahab is unmoved. "Get thee up, eat and drink," Elijah says to him. That is all he is fit for. He is quite ready for a good banquet; he would be out of his element at a prayer-meeting. In like manner there are some to-day who seem unmoved by any manifestations of Divine power. They pass out of church after listening to a most moving sermon, and merely complain of the length, or criticise the preacher's style. Human nature, even when totally unregenerate, often manifests some traits that are noble and genuine. It is seldom so outrageously carnal and callous as Ahab seemed on this occasion. We turn with relief to Elijah. "There is a sound of abundance of rain," he had said to Ahab. Perhaps he heard it only with the ear of the spirit by faith. But why should not Elijah also eat and drink? He was exhausted with the labour and strain of the day. Why not be content, now that he has heard the soughing in the trees, and just eat and drink until the rain fall? Because the rustling was not the rain, it was only the precursor of the rain, and a call to prayer. How often we hinder blessing through lack of prayer. We hear the rustling and we take our ease. If we waited without prayer for the fulfilment of the promise, it would seem as if we thought we had a right to the blessing. Once we begin to take our mercies as a matter of course, there is no blessing with them to our souls. So we find two features specially prominent in this prayer of Elijah's — his utter self-abasement before God and his believing perseverance. But why does not the first prayer prevail? It is good that our faith should be tested and our desires proved. It is well, too, that we should be taught our dependence upon God. Perhaps if our prayers were always answered at once we should seem rulers and commanders in the things of God, and forget our subordinate and dependent position. We might even make an idol of prayer, as the Israelites did of the brazen serpent, and look upon our prayers as a charm or divining red, giving us a legal claim upon the bounty of heaven.

(F. S. Webster, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

WEB: Elijah said to Ahab, "Get up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain."

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