Summary: One of the most difficult things to do is answer God's Questions - Just ask Elijah! Yet, in this powerful question we are brought to the reality of our life!
What Are You Doing Here?
• Questions. Important Questions. Life-Changing questions. In our first message of this series, we heard Elijah ask, “How long will you limp between two opinions?” To confront this question is to recall that ‘no one can serve two masters – he has to make a choice.’ What is of interest to us is that Elijah, God’s fiery prophet, asks the people who were wearing God’s name this question; while the question we ask tonight is a question God asked Elijah. This should remind every one of us in this place, that every time we ask questions of others, God has His own questions for us.
• Before reading our text, let’s be reminded of this back story. Elijah had asked the people ‘How long’ and then set up the contest between the Baals and Jehovah in a manner which, in human terms, put Jehovah at a disadvantage. I mean, to pour water on an altar which you were hoping to be consumed with fire doesn’t make much sense to the human being. Most of us, might build an altar or even repair our altar to God, but more than likely, we’d be glad to pour some accelerant on the sacrifice so that God would not be held back by this world. (You get what I’m saying?)
• The false prophets called, cried, & even cut themselves trying to get their gods to respond. Honestly, we won’t go back and read the scripture which tells how bad Elijah was to the false prophets (so as not to offend the offendable), but he didn’t hold back in his words. Suffice to say, nothing happened which brings about one of the saddest truths for mankind. We hear that ‘it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere.’ On Mt. Carmel, the false prophets were sincere enough to spend time crying out to their god in the sight of thousands of people.
• They even cut themselves to make the case for their sincerity. I Kings 18:29 says, “No one answered & no one paid attention.” Interestingly, we give ourselves to the beliefs & ideas of this world, thinking that someone is listening – and ‘no one answers or pays attention because there is no one to hear.’
• Elijah takes over the scene, prays a simple prayer, and the Jehovah God responds with fire which not only consumes the sacrifice & the altar but laps up all the water which drenched the altar. Immediately Elijah gathers the false prophets and kills them. This is a picture of our tenaciously we are to deal with sin. If you keep a ‘little sin’ in your life, it will infect the entire body.
• What a great victory, right?!? Elijah should be fired up, right?!? Come ‘hell or high water’, if God can handle 850 false prophets, Elijah has nothing to fear, right?!? Obviously, wrong.
• When King Ahab witnessed the happening on Mt. Carmel, he went & reported it to the Queen. Jezebel was the ‘wickedness behind the weakness’ & her wickedness possessed little weakness. When Jezebel heard the report, she sent a report of her own to Elijah which simply said, “You’re toast! You will be as dead as my friends that you killed before end of business tomorrow.”
• Elijah, who had just defeated 850 men (with Jehovah’s help), RAN FOR HIS LIFE. Why? Because he was afraid of this woman! He ran a day’s journey into the wilderness. Suffering from fatigue, food deprivation, and quite likely ‘depression’, Elijah prayed for God to take his life. After meeting Elijah’s physical need for nutrition, God sent him on a 40 day hike down to Horeb, God’s mount.
• He had prophesied for God, he had prayed to God, & he had prevailed with God, and now he had run to the mountain of God..why? Because of his fear. So two times, God asks the same question.
• (TEXT & Comment down to the second time the question is asked)
• Verse 9 – This is a simple & straight-forward question to which Elijah is setting on READY for.
• Verse 10 – Rarely does a person convey a story accurately. They normally will tell the story as truth from THEIR vantage point. There are always at least 2 views of the same story. Elijah took a great deal of liberty in relating this story to God. By the way, God knows the whole story.
• Verse 11 & 12 – In order to see life, God’s call, and reality, in true fashion, most of us need a fresh vision of God. Think: Why would Elijah need this, he had just witnessed God’s power 6 weeks ago.
• Verse 13 – So now Elijah is in the proper mindset to hear, respond, and then listen to God.