Sermons

Summary: This is the first sermon in a series of ten sermons on Elijah.

Text: 1 Kings 17:1-7

Prayer of Illumination

Our Father in heaven . . . holy, holy, holy is your name.

As we turn to Your Word may you give us eyes to see your truth, may your give us ears to hear your voice, and may you grant us hearts that are open & receptive & responsive to you.

Introduction

(IL) As you were growing up, did you have someone you wanted to be like or maybe even pretended you were them when you played? Someone memorable and imp to you?

>Fictional –“The Hulk” or a princess?

>Real person – Parent . . . Teacher . . . TV personality . . . sports figure?

>Growing up around Pgh, PA I had someone like that

>Here’s a video about him

*Roberto Clemente – quite a memorable baseball player & important to city of Pittsburgh

>Got his 3000 hit on Sept 30, 1972 and died a few months later on New Year’s Eve in a plane crash as he was taking relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua

*Old Testament has a lot of memorable & important characters in it

*Noah – we think of the flood

*Abraham – we think of the Covenant, father of nation of Israel

*David – greatest king in Israel but an adulterer

*Every day this week speak about a very important figure

>Swindoll – a man of heroism & humility

>Elijah – a great man & possibly the greatest OT prophet

I. Talk about the background before reading the text

A. Very imp 2 understand some background & culture 2 understand the ministry of Elijah

B. Kingdom divided

1. Southern kingdom of Judah – King Asa

2. Northern kingdom of Israel – King Ahab – Elijah appears here

a. I Kings 16:30 – he did more evil than all other kings B4 him

C. Married Jezebel – “Satan’s Woman of the Hour”

1. Possibly an arranged marriage

2. Her father – Ethbaal – king of Sidonians

a. Sidon – along the Med, in the heart of Baalism

3. See later – Jezebel was very antagonistic toward Israel’s God.

a. Wanted to replace worship of God with Baal

b. Later ordered a slaughter of Hebrew prophets

D. Ahab ruled in the city of Samaria (the capital city)

1. Built a house for Baal

2. Built an altar for Baal

3. More idolatry - erected an Asherah pole

a. Sending a pretty strong msg

b. Don’t overlook the gravity of this

4. Pretty much makes Baal worship the state religion of Israel

a. The goal is to replace the worship of God with the worship of Baal

E. Elijah shows up on the scene in this godless, antagonistic, idolatrous culture

1. That’s what Elijah’s world was like when he came on the scene – let’s read about it

READ TEXT – 1 Kings 17:1-7

II. God works in our lives to cut us down to size

A. Elijah tell Ahab there will be no rain until Elijah says so, then God immediately sends Elijah to hide along the Brook Cherith east of the Jordan

1. God doesn’t tell Elijah how long he’ll be there only that He’ll have some ravens bring him food a couple times a day & he can get his water from the brook

B. God is sending Elijah to Cherith to do some work in his life

1. Cherith means “cut down”

a. He was going to cut Elijah down to size

b. Placing Elijah in a situation where he had to trust God and depend on Him daily, even for something as basic as his food and water

C. God had a purpose for Elijah’s time at Cherith

1. Cut him down to size so God would be bigger in Elijah’s life as he really learned to trust and depend on God daily

D. Elijah was experiencing a DIVINELY DESIGNED DIFFICULTY personally fashioned just for him to accomplish God’s purpose in and thru his life

E. You and I serve a Sovereign God who designs circumstances in our lives to accomplish His purposes in and thru us

1. God designed the brook Cherith exp 4 Eljah

2. He designed the wilderness for Moses

3. He fashioned the prison for Joseph

4. He designed another jail cell, this one for Paul & Silas in Philippi to accomplish His purposes, not only for them, for also His purposes for a jailer and his family

5. All to accomplish His purpose in their lives

F. God also, on occasion, has Divinely Designed Difficulties for you as well

1. Those times of trial and testing

a. Cut you down to size

b. He might be bigger

c. He might manifest Himself to you & to others through you

d. To show you that He is who He says He is in His Word

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