1 Kings Chapter 18:1-46
The Showdown on MT
Been said that One w/ God is a majority!
A) Joshua said to his men: “ One of you shall chase 1,000 for the Lord your God fights for you”
B) We sang tonight – we are few but we are strong when you surround us.
C) It is amazing what God can do with one person who is a man or woman of God
1) One person who is sold out to the Lord!
D) One can make all the difference.
1776 One vote gave
1845- One vote brought
1868 One vote saved President Andrew Jackson from Impeachment
1876 – One vote gave Rutherford P Hays the
1923- One vote gave Adolf Hitler control of the Nazi Party
1941 One vote saved the Draft just
Tonight we see where one man stood against the majority & was Victorious because God was w/ Him
GO PRESENT YOURSELF TO AHAB
A) Ch.17:3 God said go hide yourself – 3 yrs hiding
B) Now God says Go SHOW YOURSELF!
C) 3 Yrs of Preparation for this Moment!
D) Ever feel like God has you in hiding
1) Sense he has something more for your life – right now feel like obscurity –
E) Where He has you now is probably Preparation for what He is going to do in the Future
1) Elijah’s life – after 3 yrs of Prep – God says now Go show yourself to Ahab
RD V. 2-4
CONVERGENCE OF 2 GREAT MEN.
A) Elijah’s ministry was Prophetic
B) Obadiah was employed by wicked King Ahab
1) Obadiah’s name means servant of Yahweh
C) Although he was employed by the King he used his position to hide 100 prophets of God from Jezebel
1) Protecting the Word of God
D) Jezebel hated the prophets of God & wanted to do away with them – Promote the worship of Baal
WE NEED MORE OBADIAHS
A) Might not be called to preach publicly like Elijah
B) But people who use what they have to protect and support the word of God.
1) People who will use their resources prayer, serving, and giving to support the preaching of God’s word
C) Not a trivial ministry: When you support the work of God in that way: Prayer giving serving
1) Work here, in Africa,
D) So Obadiah had a ministry of Protecting the Word of God by hiding the Lord’s Prophets
AHAB AND THE FAMINE
A) Here we see that Ahab’s desperate: the drought is devastating the land.
B) Notice here: Ahab does what we sometimes do.
1) Ahab sought RELIEF from the famine but not the REASON for the problem.
C) God wants us to deal with the root of the problem.
1) If we ask the Lord to show us, He will, especially if we are willing to let Him change us.
Ahab looks for relief not the reason.
A) Some people who are dry spiritually – running around trying to find water – trying to bring rain
1) NO RAIN UNTIL THERE IS REIGN
B) For 3 yrs Elijah had been sort of like Osama Bin Laden – Hard to find –
1) Obadiah runs into him – Elijah says go tell Ahab I want to see him
C) Obadiah is like what you talking about Willis
1) Get me Killed – Disappearing act –
D) Elijah assures him – I will be there!
AHAB THE TROUBLER OF
A) Ahab accuses Elijah of being the troubler of
B) Troubler = snake or a viper – the one poisoning
C) Interesting how we can do that – we accuse others when the poison is in us.
1) We have the problem- Why there is strife or division – or no fruit!
D) Elijah responds in v.18 RD
I’m not the problem Ahab, you are. God has brought this drought because of you Ahab.
A) You’ve forsaken God, and led his people in
idolatry. Time for a
B) Elijah calls out the 400 prophets of Aserah and the 450 Prophets of Baal –
1) 850 false prophets in totality who were supported by the King & his queen Jezebel
C) Lets see who is serving the real God!
1) Showdown on MT
3 GROUPS OF PEOPLE
A) 1 MAN ELIJAH
B) King & Queen - 850 false prophets
C) The Majority in between: To that group Elijah says how long are you go to falter between 2 opinions
The word Falter or Waver is an interesting word that means to limp or hobble between to crutches
A) The people were trying to hold together two mutually exclusive loyalties –
B) That is an impossible thing to do – Hobble along like someone on Crutches –
C) Elijah says make a Decision!
THOSE 3 GROUPS ARE PRESENT TODAY
A) Some who like Elijah right on / sold out – completely committed to the Lord
B) Others who are completely opposed to the Lord
C) Big group that is in the middle –
1) Live between the world & the Lord
D) Some of Jesus some of what the world has to offer. -
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will
serve the LORD."
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
Hot is great – Use you
Cold is ok – Revive you – get sick of your sin
Luke Warm – makes me sick –
Maybe that is you tonight – Feel sorry for you
A) Miserable place – too much of Jesus to really enjoy the World –
B) Too much of the world to really be happy and fulfilled in the Lord
C) MAKE A DECISION – TONIGHT
1) Quit wavering between two opinions – Is it going to be the world or Jesus
D) The World – go for it – Pray you make to your pig pen fast!
E) Jesus: Go for it – Put away the idols – put away the stuff that is in the way
1) Follow Jesus – Seek Jesus – Serve Jesus
So Elijah calls the People to Decide but notice the end of v. 21 – the people answered him not a word!
A) They were not ready to make a decision – so Elijah is going to force the issue.
RD V.22 – 27
Elijah’s calls them out!
A) Elijah has a little sense of humor –
B) Maybe your God is busy – Bathroom
1) Vacation / Sleeping
with the Prophets of Baal there was
A) They are dancing and shouting – making their big production.
B) Commotion is not always indicative of faith.
1) Sometime a bunch of noise and commotion is indicative really of a lack of faith.
C) Faith can be very quiet. When I sit on a chair
1) I don’t stop and make a big production out of it.
D) I don’t stop and raise my voice and say: “I declare
this chair will hold me, I believe: Halleluiah”.
E) No. “I have faith that the chair will hold me, so I just sit down on it.
1) Many times it is strong faith that is the quietest. These guys are really going for it.
What a mess, what a sad scene!
A) After running around for hours and screaming like a pack of wolves these guys now collapse in exhaustion, bloodied and bruised, all for nothing.
B) V.29 again There was no voice / no one answered and no one paid attention –
1) there was no go to pay attention
C) The prophets of Baal had passion, commitment, sincerity, devotion, and great energy.
1) What they did not have was a God in heaven who answered by fire.
D) Contrast with true worship! RD V.30-33
The burnt offering was prophetic of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
A) It speaks of our righteousness by faith.
B) We don’t earn audience before God by running around and screaming.
1) God isn’t manipulated into compassion when you cut yourself.
C) Elijah is confident that God will accept this sacrifice because it is all according to God’s Word.
D) Jesus said in Jn 4 those who worship me must do so in spirit and in truth….
1) Spirit is with Sincerity – True heart
2) In truth is according to the Scriptures
E) Elijah isn’t doing “his own thing here” He is coming God’s way and God accepts that.
THE REASON GOD SENDS FIRE V.39
A) Here we see the very reason that God sends fire – People see it and declare that He is God!
B) Notice when the fire came? – v.30 again Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down
1) Altar speaks of surrender and Sacrifice
C) I wonder how many Altars of the Lord are broken down here tonight
D) How many lives that are a picture of everything but surrender & Sacrifice?
A Lot of Christians today: Doing their own thing
A) God is just a part of their lives – but there life is all about their agenda – their pursuits
B) They are asking God to bless their plans – bless their pursuits
C) God says – Put your life on the Altar – present yourself to me as living sacrifice
1) Assume the position of Surrender and Sacrifice
The Fire didn’t come until the altar of the Lord that was broken down was repaired
A) When did the fire of the HS come in the book of acts –
B) Came when the apostles assumed the heart of surrender and Sacrifice
C) Jesus found them fishing – after the Rez –
1) Go into
D) That is surrender –
Jesus said and when the HS comes upon you He is going to give you power to be my witnesses
A) Word Witness is Martyr – Jesus is saying He is going to empower you to die for me if necessary
B) That is sacrifice –
C) The apostles put themselves on the Altar and God brought the fire
1) The People declared: Jesus is God – Messiah
D) Safe to say: If we rebuild the altar God will light the Fire RD V.40
A)Elijah GOES from CHERITh (The place of cutting) to Zarephath (the place of refining)
C) They do away with the 450 prophets of Baal!
ELIJAH THE MAN OF PRAYER!
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Here is what I want you to note about Elijah and his Prayer life.
A) In public on the MT
B) But here in Private – his prayer is intense and Fervent and persistent –
1) Seven times he prays –
C) Elijah was a greater man in Private than he was in public –
1) I think that is one of the reasons he was used so powerfully!
Been said: FB Meyer: “The men who stand the straightest in the presence of sin bow the lowest in the presence of God.”
In public his prayer was short... But in private his prayer took on a whole different dimension.
A) He puts
his head between his knees..... this is the birthing position in the
B) A position of pain and travail and pressing.
C) In private, Elijah was BIRTHING something in prayer...
D) He was PRESSING in to the throne of grace...
1) He was TRAVAILING in prayer...... He prayed SEVEN times.
After the 7th time the servant comes and says there is
a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising out of the sea
A) The evidence of the rain came slowly and in a small way, but out of this small evidence God brought a mighty work.
B) In the November 9 1904 edition of The Life of Faith, a London newspaper dedicated to the deeper life movement, a writer named Jessie Penn-Lewis reported on a remarkable work just beginning in Wales under the ministry of men like Evan Roberts and Seth Joshua.
She reported that a cloud no bigger than a man's
hand had arisen in
C) It was a fitting description of the clear but small beginning of what became a mighty work.
1) Welsh Revival
Charles Spurgeon used this text as an illustration of the small signs that precede a mighty work of God. A) He spoke of four "certain signs and tokens for good which prayerful faith clearly perceives when an awakening, a genuine revival is about to come."
B) He said Christians should regard the following things as clouds, as small as a man's hand, rising out of the sea.
1) A growing dissatisfaction with the present state of things and an increasing anxiety among the members of the church for the salvation of souls.
2) When this anxiety leads believers to be exceedingly earnest and persistence in prayer.
3) When ministers begin to take counsel one with another, and to say, “What must we do?"
4) When we shall see the doctrine of the individual responsibility of each Christian fully felt and carried out into individual action.
In other words when Christians begin to live what they believe!
SO Elijah scores a huge Victory against the Prophets of BAAL
A) Jesus scored an even greater victory against an even larger force of Evil
B) Tonight – Jesus would say in this Place –
1) Decide Quit wavering between two opinions
C) Decide tonight –
D) Life on the Altar tonight – Surrender – Submission Sacrifice
1) The Lord’s will / The Lord’s way
E) The result will be Fire – Not to CONSUME YOU BUT TO BURN IN YOU.