Saturday, December 18, 2010

Matthew Henry on Elijah

Last evening I read Matthew Henry on 1 Kings 17 and wanted to share a few quotes that stood out to me - this chapter was so good!

"If Providence calls us to solitude and retirement, it becomes us to acquiesce; when we cannot be useful we must be patient, and when we cannot work for God we must sit still quietly for him."

"Elijah had but one meal brought him at a time, every morning and every evening, to teach him not to take thought for the morrow. Let those who have but from hand to mouth learn to live upon Providence, and trust it for the bread of the day in the day; thank God for bread this day, and let to-morrow bring bread with it."

"Have we experienced God's special goodness to us and ours? Let us reckon ourselves obliged thereby to be kind to those that are his, for his sake. Let us learn....To encourage ourselves in God in the greatest straits, and never to distrust him. He that could furnish a table in the wilderness, and make ravens purveyors, cooks, and servitors to his prophet, is able to supply all our need according to his riches in glory."

"God will now provide for him where he shall have some company and opportunity of usefulness, and not be, as he had been, buried alive."

".....a poor widow woman, destitute and desolate, is commanded (that is, is made both able and willing) to sustain him. It is God's way, and it is his glory, to make use of the weak and foolish things of the world and put honor upon them. He is, in a special manner, the widows' God, and feeds them, and therefore they must study what they shall render to him."

"She was very humble and industrious. He found her gathering sticks, and preparing to bake her own bread. Her mind was brought to her condition, and she complained not of the hardship she was brought to, nor quarrelled with the divine Providence for withholding rain, but accommodated herself to it as well as she could. Such as are of this temper in a day of trouble are best prepared for honour and relief from God....she had a great confidence in the word of God. It was a great trial for her faith and obedience when, having gold the prophet how low her stock of meal and oil was and that she had but just enough for herself and her son, he bade her make a cake for him, and make his first, and then prepare for herself and her son. If we consider, it will appear as great a trial as could be in so small a matter."

"A cup of cold water, though it cost us no more than the labour of fetching, shall in no wise lose its reward."

"O woman! great was thy faith; one has not found the like, no, not in Israel: all things considered, it exceeded that of the widow who, when she had but two mites, cast them into the treasury. She took the prophet's word, that she should not lose by it, but it should be repaid with interest...Those that deal with God must deal upon trust; seek first his kingdom, and then other things shall be added...Happy are those who can thus, against hope, believe and obey in hope."

"When God blesses a little, it will go a great way, even beyond expectation."

"She generously made one cake for the prophet, and was repaid with many for herself and her son. When Abraham offers his only son to God he is told he shall be the father of multitudes. What is laid out in piety or charity is let out to the best interest, upon the best securities. One poor meal's meat this poor widow gave the prophet, and, in recompence of it, she and her son did eat many days, above two years, in a time of general scarcity; and to have their food from God's special favour, and to eat it in such good company as Elijah's, made it more than doubly sweet. It is promised to those that trust in God that they shall not be ashamed in the evil time, but in the days of famine they shall be satisfied, Psalm 37:19"

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1