« EdellinenJatka »
not let thee go, except thou bless me.'. So the angel blessed him, and changed his name to Israel, which means 'a prince of God;' 'for,' said he, ́ ́as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.' Now, this is the way we must pray, if we would have our prayers answered. Although the angel had put Jacob's thigh out of joint, he would not let him go till he had secured the blessing. So, when we desire any thing of God, if he does not give it to us at first, we should keep on asking, and not be discouraged, whatever difficulties seem to be in the way; but hold on to his promises, and continue in prayer, till we obtain the blessing we desire, or till God shows us that it is not his will that we should have it."
"Mother, you said you would tell me about Elijah's praying for rain."
"Yes, my dear, I will. After three years and a half, when the earth was parched and dried up, so that nothing
would grow, Ahab and one of his men went out through all the land, about the brooks and rivers, to search for grass, to save their horses and mules from starving to death. But, while they were on their way, Elijah met them."
"Was he not afraid the king would kill him, mother?"
"No, my dear; he trusted in the Lord; and the Bible says, 'the righteous are as bold as a lion.'
'Well, what did the king say, when he saw Elijah?"
"He said, 'Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" But Elijah answered and said, 'I have not troubled Israel; but thou and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord.' And the prophet told him to go and gather all the people together, with the false prophets and priests of the idols: the prophets of Baal, four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the grove, four hun
dred. So Ahab gathered together all the children of Israel, and all the prophets, to Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to the people, and said, 'How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.' To halt is to stop. If you were going anywhere, and should come to two roads, and, not knowing which to take, should stop between them, or at the place where they separate, you would be halting between two opinions; whether to take one or the other of the roads. This was the case with the children of Israel. They were at a loss to decide, whether they would worship God, or the idol called Baal. Therefore the prophet inquired, 'How long halt ye between two opinions?' and exhorted them to make an immediate decision. A great many people live all their lives without coming to a decision, as to whom they will serve. They
have no idea of dying in their sins, and going to hell; but they will not make up their minds to serve God They go on halting between two opinions; and death generally overtakes them before they decide. O that we could see the children in our Sabbath-schools, one and all, making up their minds to take the Lord for their God Now!"
"What did the people say to Elijah, mother?"
"They did not answer him a word. But Elijah said, 'I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.' And he told them to let the prophets of Baal bring two young bullocks, and choose one for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on wood, but put no fire under; and he would do the same with the other: And,' said he, 'call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God
that answereth by fire, let him be God.' And all the people agreed to it. So the prophets of Baal chose their bullock, and dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning till noon, saying, O Baal, hear us! But their god did not hear them. And they leaped upon the altar. And at noon, Elijah mocked them, and said, 'Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is on a journey, or he sleepeth, and must be awaked.' And they cried aloud, and cut themselves with knives, till the blood gushed out upon them. And in the evening, Elijah called the people to him. And he took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of Israel, and built an altar to the Lord. And he dug a great ditch around the altar, and put the wood on the altar, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood. Then he told them to fill four barrels with water, and