SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2 (EGW)

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Chapter 17

1. Elijah Took the Key of Heaven—Before he [Ahab] could recover from his astonishment or frame a reply, Elijah disappeared, taking with him the key of heaven.... 2BC 1033.10

His word had locked up the treasures of heaven, and his word only could open them again.... Ahab did not realize that the prophet had left his presence unrebuked until the man of God had gone beyond recall (The Review and Herald, August 14, 1913). 2BC 1034.1

1, 2. God's Man With God's Message—God always has men to whom He intrusts His message. His Spirit moves upon their hearts, and constrains them to speak. Stimulated by holy zeal, and with the divine impulse strong upon them, they enter upon the performance of their duty without coldly calculating the consequences of speaking to the people the word which the Lord has given them. But the servant of God is soon made aware that he has risked something. He finds himself and his message made the subject of criticism. His manners, his life, his property are all inspected and commented upon. His message is picked to pieces and rejected in the most illiberal and unsanctified spirit, as men in their finite judgment see fit. Has that message done the work God designed it should accomplish? No; it has signally failed, because the hearts of the hearers were unsanctified. 2BC 1034.2

If the minister's face is not flint, if he has not indomitable faith and courage, if his heart is not made strong by constant communion with God, he will begin to shape his testimony to please the unsanctified ears and hearts of those whom he is addressing. In endeavoring to avoid the criticism to which he is exposed, he separates from God, and loses the sense of the divine favor, and his testimony becomes tame and lifeless. He finds that his courage and faith are gone, and his labors are powerless. The world is full of flatterers and dissemblers who have yielded to the desire to please; but the faithful men, who do not study self-interest, but love their brethren too well to suffer sin upon them, are few indeed (The Review and Herald, April 7, 1885). 2BC 1034.3