The Holy Prophet Elijah lived in Israel during the reign of the wicked king Ahab. These were dark times in the history of the Israeli people. Under the influence of the pagan wife Jezebel Ahab throughout the country planted a cult of worship to Baal, Astarte and Moloch, and zealous supporters of the trueрелигииpursued and killed.
Once, to Ahab, a formidable prophet Elijah appeared in Samaria. He was from the city of Fesva and from a young age led a strict ascetic life in the desert. Standing before the king in the simple robe of a hermit belted by a rope, Elijah angrily reproached him for apostasy and predicted that for a deviation from the True God the country would suffer drought and famine. «The LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand!! Cried Elijah in a menacing voice. -In these years there will be neither dew nor rain, except in my word"(3Car. 17: 1).
After this prophecy Elijah retired from the capital, fearing the king's revenge, and disappeared in the mountains beyond the Jordan, at the stream of Choraf. The places there were deserted, however Elijah was not hungry. Crows twice a day brought him bread and meat, and he took the water from the stream. But now the predicted drought has come. The rains stopped, and the stream dried completely. Then Elijah, at the command of God, moved to the pagan town of Sarepta, near Sidon. One poor, good widow sheltered him in her house and shared with him meager food. When Elijah came to her, she only had a handful of flour in the tub and a little oil in the jug. But according to the word of Elijah, a miracle happened: the prophet's stay with the widow did not decrease the amount of flour in the tub, nor the oil in the pitcher.
Soon the widow's misfortune happened: her son fell seriously ill and died. Then Elijah took the dead boy to his room, laid him on his bed and, with burning prayer, turned to God, asking Him to give the boy a life. The Lord heard the prayer of His chosen one, and the boy revived. The widow, full of joy, said: "Now I have learned that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is true"(3Car. 17: 24).
After three and a half years of drought and famine, and then "...was the word of the Lord to Elijah: go and show yourselves to Ahab, and I will rain on the earth"(3Car. 18: 1). The king, seeing the prophet, began to reproach him: "Are you this, embarrassing Israel?? "This reproach Elijah boldly replied to the king:"I do not embarrass Israel, but you and your father's house, because you despised the Lord's commandments and go after the Baalim"(3Car. 18: 17-18). Then the prophet invited Ahab to assemble the people and priests of Baal on Mount Carmel and to test who the true God is - Jehovah or Baal. At the top of the mountain, at the appointed time, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal gathered themselves, which the queen Jezebel had kept. Elijah alone, with God's help, entered into a battle with them. Numerous crowds of Israelis and Canaanensenians waited anxiously for the outcome of this peculiar duel. The terrible prophet first of all addressed the people with an accusatory speech: "How long do you have to limp on both your knees? if the Lord is God, then follow Him; and if Baal, then follow him. " Then he invited the people to prepare two sacrifices - one for Jehovah, and the other for Baal, but do not put fire on the altars. That God, who will send fire from heaven to the altar, is the TrueGod. The king and the people agreed with this proposal. The priests of Baal were the first to sacrifice. They danced around the altar, torturing themselves with knives and spears, frenziedly shouting: "Baal, hear us!" It was noon, and the bullock did not light up; Elijah advised them with irony: "Cry with a loud voice, for he is a god; maybe he's pondering, or busy with something, or on the road, or maybe he's asleep, so he'll wake up! "But there was no voice, no response, no hearing (3Цар. 18:21:26:27:29). When it was noon and the time of the evening sacrifice came, Elijah built an altar of twelve stones around it dug a ditch, folded wood, cut his calf and ordered the water to be poured on the altar. When the ditch was filled with water, the prophet raised his hands to heaven and offered a fiery prayer, asking the Lord to show the idolaters that He is the only True God, the God of the fathers of the lost people. Yetprayerwas on the lips of the prophet, as fire came from heaven and swallowed up not only the bullock, but even the stones of the altar and the water from the ditch. Having seenit, all the people fell on their faces and said: "The Lord is God, the Lord is God! »(3Car. 18: 39).
But Elijah did not confine himself to the universal repentance of the people. He ordered the false prophets to be caught, and because they misled and corrupted the people, he executed all of them at the Kisson stream. Then he returned to the top of Mount Carmel and prayed until rain clouds appeared on the horizon. After a while, the whole sky was overcast, and a long-awaited shower poured in.
The queen Jezebel, having learned about what had happened on Mount Carmel, vowed to kill Elijah. Fleeing from the persecution of the hardened pagan, Elijah fled to Judea, where he hid in one of the mountain caves. Here the Lord appeared to him and told him to go to Israel to anoint the kingdom of Jehu, who was the commander of Ahab, and also to anoint Elisha, the son of Safat, "as a prophet in his stead" (3Car. 19: 16). Elijah obediently went to do the will of God. On the way, he met an Israeli named Elisha. At that time he plowed his field with a team of twelve pairs of oxen. The Prophet threw his mantle (cloak) on his shoulders as a sign that he was taking him to his disciples. Elisha, agitated by this unexpected grace, said to the prophet: "Let me kiss my father and my mother, and I will follow you" (3Car. 19: 20). Then he killed two oxen, gave the meat to his countrymen and, bidding farewell to his parents, went after his teacher.
The earthly life of the great prophet was coming to an end. The Lord called His elect to Himself. Feeling the end of his earthly life, Elijah wanted to finish her alone with God and for this purpose several times tried to part with his inseparable companion and disciple Elisha. But Elisha, too, foreseeing an early separation from his teacher, did not leave him. The Lord called Elijah into the wilderness beyond the Jordan. When Elijah, accompanied by Elisha, approached the river, he struck his prophetic cloak (mercy) on the waters of the Jordan. The river immediately parted, and they crossed dry on the other side. Walking along the road, Elijah said to Elisha: "Ask what to do to you before I am taken from you ...»-«The spirit that is in you, let it be doubly on me", - answered Elisha. Elijah said to him: "Difficult you ask. If you see how I will be taken from you, it will be so"(4Car. 2: 9-10). As they talked, they continued their journey along the road. Suddenly a chariot of fire, drawn by fiery horses, divided the interlocutors, and Elijah flew to the sky in a whirlwind. Elisha tore his clothes and exclaimed in despair: "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and his cavalry! »(4Car. 2: 12). At that time, Elijah's mercy fell to his feet, and with her Elisha received from God a prophetic spirit.
O glorious and pathetic prophet of God, Elijah, shining on the earth with your angels' anointing, burning ardor for Lord God Almighty, yet signs and wonders of glory, also in extreme favor to you God, unnaturally admired in the fiery chariot from your flesh to heaven, spodoblinshy talk with transfigured in Tabor, the Savior of the world, and now in the paradise villages constantly abide and stand before the throne of the Heavenly King! Hear us, sinners and vile people, in the hour of this coming before your holy icon and zealously resorting to your petition. Pray for us the Man-loving God, grant us the spirit of repentance and contrition for our sins and with His all-powerful grace and help us to abandon the paths of wickedness, to succeed in every work of the blessing, and to strengthen us in the struggle against passions and lustings of ours, the spirit of humility and meekness, the spirit of brotherly affection and mildness, the spirit of patience and chastity, the spirit of jealousy for the glory of God and for your salvation and your neighbors, good care. Abolish the customs of the world with your prayers, prophesy, evil, even the pernicious and pernicious spirit of this age, infecting the Christian race with contempt for the Divine Orthodox faith, for the charter of the Holy Church and for the commandment of the Lord, for not reading to the parent and the powers that be, and casting people into the abyss of wickedness , corruption and perdition. Turn away from us, prophetically prophesy, your representation, the righteous wrath of God and deliver all the hailstones and weights of our homeland from ravage and fatigue, from terrible storms and earthquakes, from deadly ulcers and diseases, from invasion of enemies and internecine warfare. Strengthen with your prayers, glorious, prince of our power in the glory and the hard work of the people's government, do them well in all the good deeds and endeavors to establish peace and truth in our country. Befriend the Christ-loving hosts in wars with our enemies. Ask God's prophet, from the Lord our shepherd, holy zeal for God, heartfelt care for the salvation of the flock, wisdom in teaching and management, piety and fortress in the temptations, the judges ask for unreality and unselfishness, rightness and compassion for the offended, all the commanders of the care of subordinates, mercy and justice, subordination to obedience and obedience to its doctrine. Yes, in peace and piety in this world, we are honored with the sacrament of eternal blessings in the Kingdom of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, honor and worship with the Fatherless Father and Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.