1 Kings Chapters 16-17
God’s Man For The Times!
He is referred to in scripture as the Man of God more than any single person in the Bible.
A) Unique title: Only given to a few. Moses, David, Timothy –
B) Elijah was referred to by that title the more than any.
C) He was indeed the Man of God – God’s man for the hour.
D) But in James 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature just like yours and mine.
1) Not a Super Christian – Wasn’t perfect but he was a man of God – Used Powerfully by God
E) Tonight consider the Marks of a man of God.
1) He is one of the greatest prophets that God ever sent to his people Israel.
Before we look at Elijah – Briefly consider the background of the times & the conditions to which he was called.
Ch.16 The Focus shifts from Judah and King Asa to Israel.
A) Judah is doing ok following the Lord under Asa’s Leadership and then Jehoshaphat.
B) But in Israel it is a different story: They go from one king to another who is wicked –
1) Who doesn’t follow the ways of the Lord
C) It hits an all time Low when Ahab comes to the throne.
Ahab reigned 22yrs over Israel.
A) Now if you were a historian looking back at that time from a purely economic stand point.
B) You would have concluded – Ahab did a good Job
1) Craftsmanship in Israel was unequaled in the land.
C) The Military: Not the Strongest but definitely a force to be reckoned with.
1) Great Chariot force as well as a good sized army.
D) Ahab was able to expand what his father had done on every single level.
1) Approval rating would have been very high
E) But not in the eyes of the Lord - 30 Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him.
Ahab really took a turn for the worst when he entered into an unequally yoked relationship and married a woman named Jezebel
A) Jezebel was the daughter Ethbaal- he was the King of Sidon & Phoenicia for 33yrs
B) Not only was he a King but he was also a priest of the god BAAL
Jezebel his daughter was a FERVENT follower of Baal.
C) Thru Jezebel the worship of BAAL would become the state religion in Israel.
1) She hated everything that stood for Jehovah.
D) She sought to have all the prophets of Jehovah killed.
1) HURRICANE JEZEBEL –
2) Dict. Def. for Wickedness – Her picture is in there.
E) Not many Baby girls named Jezebel.
1) One evil lady.
Now one more note that is of relevance to the story.
A) Baal was the storm god. The rider of the clouds
B) They believed he exercised control over the rains which made him very important in their minds
1) Their agricultural crops depended on him.
C) Worshipped thru Temple prostitution & Sexual immorality
D) Now that makes what we read in Ch.17 all the more interesting RD V.1
When the spiritual climate in Israel was at an all time low –
A) A new Prophet named Elijah comes out of nowhere – A New Voice for God
B) We don’t know anything about Elijah – his background – his parents
1) All of that is insignificant – all that matters is that he speaks for God.
C) God often does that: Chuck Smith – Balance
Jesus people Movement -
1) Jim Cymbala Prayer
2) Matt Redman: Worship
D) God will often raise up a man out of no where at a particular time with a message for the nation.
E) Elijah’s name means My God is Yahweh – that is all that we need to know about him.
1) His very name expressed a defiance to Ahab’s god BAAL – and so did his message.
Elijah’s message: Drought – No Rain for 3yrs
A) Elijah’s message was a direct Challenge to the VALIDITY OF BAAL.
B) Jehovah God says to the king of the rain God –
1) There is not going to be any rain for 3 yrs
C) Consider some things about Elijah that marked him as a Man of God. – God’s man of the Hour!
#1 V.1 He stands on the word of God. He comes armed with the word of God.
A) In a time when it was not popular to be given to the Word of God.
B) Elijah was a man of the word ! Not his opinion he was speaking for God !
C) We live in a day and age where it is getting less and less popular to stand on the Word.
1) TOLERANCE: NO ABSOLUTES
D) Don’t quote the Bible – Don’t quote Jesus
1) God’s man or woman stands on the word of God without being ashamed
E) God’s word is powerful – Sharper two edged sword – doesn’t return void.
#1 He Stands on the Word of God
#2 He was a man of Faith V.2-7
A) Elijah goes into this barren land trusting that God was going to take care of him
B) He doesn’t pack a cooler – God says I will provide for you and Elijah believed God
C) Jesus sent out his disciples – Don’t take money / don’t take a back pack – travel light
1) Trusting in the Provision of God.
I was reading Oswald Chambers Yesterday: My Utmost for his highest –
A) He had some interesting things to say about faith.
“Faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God his opportunity.”
B) In other words – When we step out in faith it gives God the opportunity to move in the miraculous in our lives
C) Gives God and opportunity to show Himself strong
1) Opportunity to Show His Provision.
“The trial of faith is not that we find it hard to trust God, but rather that God’s Character has to be cleared in our minds.”
D) IN other words – Our struggle with faith really has at its root – doubting God’s Character
1) Eve in the Garden – Satan’s Lie – God really doesn’t have your best interest at heart.
E) We don’t see any hint of that in Elijah’s life –
God says – I am going to feed you by ravens
1) He doesn’t question it.
F) He was a man of Faith – Believing God
1) Ch.19 He has a complete breakdown ……
#1 He Stands on the Word of God
#2 He was a man of Faith V.2-7
#3 He was submitted to the Lord. V.7
A) For a period of time Elijah has it made – Free room service – two square meals a day.
B) Running water – But then the Brook dries up!
C) Even after the river dries up – Elijah stays put until God leads him in a different direction.
Many of us in that situation would have been prone to begin to devise and exit Strategy
A) We would be looking for a new gig – ready to pack the bags
B) Not Elijah –His life was on the Altar – He would wait for direction from God
C) It has been said that it takes an altered Life to Alter life.
1) In Romans ch.12 Paul talks about life on the Altar
D) Presenting ourselves to God as a Living Sacrifice – that is our resemble service.
E) When our life is on the Altar – our lives are free for God to Alter us –
1) Move in us – work through us in a powerful way.
Elijah was submitted to God’s timing and God’s plan
A) He waited for God to reveal the next step.
B) Key to the Christian life – One step behind the Lord – One step at a time – Lord lead me.
RD V. 8-9
#4 Elijah was a man of Boldness
A) Elijah goes to Zarephath. – Zarephath was the heartland of BAAL worship.
B) It was located 8 miles from Sidon where Jezebels father Ethbaal reigned
1) This was the center of BAAL worship.
C) But God said go – Elijah went trusting God
D) When Elijah gets there he is directed to an unlikely source for nourishment – a poor widow
#5 Elijah’s faith was contagious
A) There was something about Elijah that caused this widow to believe God.
B) In v.13 Elijah says to her Do not be afraid
1) Fear is the greatest enemy of our faith
C) Not given you a spirit of Fear – But of power and love and a sound mind.
Faith chases away our FEAR - Elijah says to her – Don’t fear – First give me a cake
A) Key word – Exercise your faith by first giving to the Lord.
B) She gave to Elijah – gave of her lack – and believed that God would provide for her.
1) He did exceedingly abundantly more than she could imagine.
C) God asks of us – give our first fruits – many struggle with that because of Fear
1) How am I going to pay the bills? How provide?
D) This woman is a great example of the principle in Malachi – tithing – TEST ME ….. open the windows of heaven –
E) She was inspired by Elijah’s faith
People of Faith are contagious – Fun to be around they believe God can do anything –
A) When they pray: Fervency in their Prayer
B) Contagious – Find yourself praying with more confidence
C) You see them step out in faith – Believe God for his provision – His Sufficiency – Inspires us
1) Live by faith – trust God
D) Are you a person of Faith – Inspire others to step out – Or do you play it SAFE
1) We need - More Contagious people of faith these days
E) After the blessing of God in this woman’s life comes a tragedy RD V.17-18
Her heart is broken – She is already a widow – now her only son is taken as well.
A) She comes to Elijah – What have I to do with you oh man of God – Explain this one.
B) Here is where we see the next trait of a man of God
#6 He knows what it means to be desperate before God RD v.19-24
A) Elijah takes the boy – He too is confused – God why would you do this
B) That is an ok – question to ask – Lord why? I don’t understand – but I will trust
1) Though you slay me Job said still I will trust you
C) Elijah cried out to the Lord
D) Weeping – Wailing type of petitioning here
1) Lets get real – God help!!! God I have no other recourse
I will never forget probably as long as I live – Leaders retreat – 2 Fathers – Cry out – Wailing
A) Some of the other guys were noticeably a little uncomfortable
B) Guys just don’t do that – Women another story
1) Guys don’t generally do that – Cry out
C) These two guys were wailing – pleading for their sons – to walk with the Lord
1) Today one of those men – His son is on the mission field – Radically serving Jesus
D) The other is in the Military – leading a Bible study in his barracks –
E) A man of God is one who knows what it means to be desperate before God.
Elijah cried out – God responded by bringing the boy back to life.
A) Not suggesting that we necessarily start weeping and wailing in our services
B) But there is a place for that in a prayer meeting and definitely in Private Prayer –
1) Earnest heart for seeking God
C) Common trait of the Men of God in the Bible
1) Joseph cried out to the Lord
5) King Asa
6) King Jehosophat
7) Isaiah the Prophet
Many times the nation of Israel – And when they cried out – it says – The Lord heard the cry of his people.
God is drawn to the desperate heart!
Reason: God is Desperate for Man!
A) What I mean by that is there is this passion in his being for man
B) Moved him to send his best
C) Why Jesus sweat was like drops of blood
1) Thick – red in color – Father take this cup from me – not my will but yours
D) He submitted to the will of his heavenly father because He was desperate – He was passionate for you!
Jesus Cried out – Oh Jerusalem ……. Wanted to gather you but you were not willing
A) His cry toward you tonight – Oh YOUR NAME – I want to gather you work in you – make you my vessel – not willing
B) Tonight is time to get on the Altar – Allow the Lord the opportunity to Alter you
1) Life that has Jesus as a part vs. one that is centered around the Lord
C) As we come to the table tonight – Remember God was desperate for you –
1) Lets be Desperate for Him
Men and women of the 1) Word