The Life of Elijah Paperback – 1 Aug 2011
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About the Author
Arthur W. Pink has held various pastorates in the United States. He has been engaged in Bible conference work in the United States, Australia, and other countries and resided in Scotland up until the time of his death, July 15, 1952. Pink was the author of various books and booklets on Bible exposition, as well as the editor and publisher of a Bible study magazine, Studies in the Scriptures.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Even as Elijah expressed his self pity at Mt. Horeb, and experienced the tender mercies of the Lord, I found myself not merely reading about Elijah, but felt as though I were actually present at the events described. It seemed I was made privy to the innermost thoughts of Elijah, and the mind of God Himself was revealed to me. Dr. Pink's commentary unlocks the Scripture.
This book not only gives tremendous insight into Elijah's attitudes and behavior as well as to the `ways of the Lord,' but is filled with useful suggestions for every believer and for ministers of the gospel. We are called to greater boldness in speaking out against sin. We are called to greater fervency in prayer, and Pink notes "the motive prompting them [our prayers] and the petition itself must alike be right." (p.158)
Elijah's prophetic ministry, especially as revealed by this volume, is a great antidote to the sentimentality and diluted preaching that is offered up from many pulpits today.
He has three groups of audience in mind; Christians, ministers of the gospel and non-Christians. Pink not only has the gift of teaching, but also hitting his audience's conscience with clear piercing, though sometimes strong words (e.g., "conscienseless rascal," p.260). There are plenty of lessons of practical theology such as the discipline in the exercises of godliness, faith, humility, humiliation, suffering, grace, submission, courage, the dreadful end of the unrepentant wicked, in addition to the sovereignty of God; the unsearchableness of his judgment and the incomprehensibility of his ways as Rom 11:33 says; something I have come to love so dearly. Drawing from Elijah's sermon on Mount Carmel during the showdown with Ahab and a host of Baal's priests, Pink offers among other things such as prayer in private being the source of power in public (p. 24), a helpful concise counsel of right preaching, that "ministers of Christ should address themselves unto the consciences, the understanding and the affections of their hearers, for only thus can the truth be adequately presented, the principal faculties of man's souls be reached, and a definite decision for the Lord be expected from them. A balance must be preserved between the Law and the Gospel. Conscience must be searched, the mind convinced, the affections warmed, if the will is to be moved unto action. Thus it was with Elijah on Carmel" (p. 142-143). Aware that some of his readers might be unbelievers, Pink also sprinkles the study with the gospel implicitly and explicitly in many places (e.g., p.131, "The fire of God's wrath must fall either on the guilty people or on a sacrificial substitute," p. 84, 136, 242, 269).
I am more than willing to overlook my disagreement with Pink since I was so encouraged, stung, humbled and happy coming out of this blessed study. If there were only one pattern of godliness to follow in the life of Elijah (there are certainly more as Pink summarizes them in ch.34), to me personally it is this, that Elijah was a man of marked elevation of spirit; a man of heavenly-mindedness, where "the affections being set upon the things above." Faith has God for its object. "The more our hearts are occupied with Him whose throne is in heaven, the more our spirits elevated above the earth. The more our minds are engaged with the perfection of Him who is altogether lovely, the less will the things of time and sense have power to attract us. The more we dwell in the secret place of the Most High, the less will the baubles of men charm us" (p.299).