"Let there be no strife"

Who has not been impressed by and commended the attitude of Abraham when his herdmen and those of Lot quarreled, because, owing to the increase of their cattle, the land was not able to bear the two companies? What a tender sentiment was conveyed in his loving admonition, "Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren"! Then followed his meek counsel that for convenience' sake they separate themselves, giving Lot the option of choosing the land he desired. Nor did Abraham lose aught by his meekness; for his land was divinely appointed for him.

In contrast with this loving attitude on the part of Abraham, may be mentioned Elijah's treatment of the priests of Baal after he had proved the impotence of their god. Under his direction they were slain at the brook Kishon, as narrated in the eighteenth chapter of the first book of Kings. This action on his part excited the anger of the queen, Jezebel, who declared that due vengeance would be taken on Elijah; whereupon the latter fled. Undoubtedly, Elijah realized that he had committed an error in slaying the priests of Baal; for, while on his flight, he gave vent to discouragement, requesting that he die, because, he declared, "I am not better than my fathers;" and, later, the lesson was made clearer. While abiding in a cave, he was told to "go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord." It is stated that first a great wind came up and "rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks;" and to one who had been instructed to watch for the Lord in such a place, it may have seemed that this typified His coming; but no, for we read that "the Lord was not in the wind." Then came an earthquake, and afterward a fire; but the Lord was neither in the earthquake nor in the fire. Finally, came a "still small voice," typical of divine Love; and Elijah felt the presence of God. How different was it from the great wind, the earthquake, and the fire, which were destructive! Did not these typify the mortal qualities to which Elijah yielded when he ordered the destruction of the priests of Baal, and which threatened him when Jezebel declared that she would effect his destruction? Was not the "still small voice" representative of the God who "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust," and who is ever waiting for the prodigal to arise from his husks of materiality and return to the father—ever ready to go to meet such a one rather than destroy him?

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Self-denial
September 2, 1922
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