Summary: This sermon compares the unpresidented drought that the Southeastern United States expereinced in the Spring and Summer of 2007 with the Spiritual drought the United States is presently experiencing.
Title: A Season of Drought
Text: 1 Kings 16:29-33, 17:1-16
Location: Sulphur Spring Baptist Church
Introduction: I am 44 years old and have lived in Kentucky most of my life, but I can¡¦t remember a Summer that has been as hot and dry as this one.
According to Shane Holinde, one of the meteorologists at WBKO the ¡§Heat Wave¡¨ and ¡§Drought¡¨ of 2007 could very well be one for the record books. Bowling Green set a new Record High temperature for the date, on Thursday, with 106 degrees.
The way it looks right now the month of August may turn out to be one of the hottest and driest months in history.
Of course I don¡¦t have to tell any of you, especially those of you who are farmers that we are suffering from the worst drought that we¡¦ve seen in decades. All you have to do is look at the corn & beans in the fields to know how severe the situation has become. According to an article in this week¡¦s Franklin Favorite, Jason Phillips, The Simpson County Extension agent, expects crop yields to be cut in half in some areas of the county.
The same article pointed out that Livestock farmers are also being adversely affected by the drought. Pastures have dried up and hay fields have produced so poorly that many farmers are being forced to sell their cattle.
Simpson County is also experiencing a water shortage and City and County officials are urging residents to conserve water. Mayor Jim Brown says the water level at the dam dropped 10 inches last week.
Many of you realize the negative effect this drought is having and is going to have on families, businesses, and even churches.
But something you may not realize is that Simpson County, the state of Kentucky and the rest of the nation are also suffering from a Spiritual Drought that is also causing some serious problems for families, churches and even entire communities.
Now that may surprise some of you, but I received some information this week from Wilbur Powell our new Director of Missions that I believe supports that statement. This information comes from a study that was conducted throughout the state a couple of years ago. The survey revealed that ____ percent of the people of Simpson County said they have absolutely no religious affiliation. It also revealed that only _____ percent of the people in Simpson County are members of a church or other religious organization. Now both of those statistics are bad, but the statistic that blew me away and just breaks my heart is the last one. The study showed that on any given Sunday only 18.3 percent of the people in Simpson County attend a worship service of some kind. That¡¦s pitiful, and unfortunately there were many counties around the state where the percentage was even lower than that. Which is why so many churches in Kentucky and around our nation are struggling to survive right now.
I believe Spiritual droughts can be just as devastating, to families, churches, communities and even nations as the Severe Heat wave and Drought, like the one we are presently experiencing. And I must admit to you this morning, it makes me wonder if the two aren¡¦t somehow related.
The Bible gives us a great example of this in the Old Testament book of 1st Kings. Turn with me over to 1 Kings 16:29.
At this particular time The Nation of Israel seemed to be doing well. The economy was good, their military was strong, and they were at peace with all of the nations surrounding them. But unfortunately they had a BIG problem, a problem that most of them didn¡¦t even realize they had. During the last 50 or 60 years Israel had been led by Kings who were spiritually weak at best, to those who were just downright evil. Consequently the nation of Israel was entrenched in a very serious Spiritual drought. Follow along as I read 16:29-33.
According to 1 Kings 16:25 Ahab¡¦s father, Omri had done more evil in the eyes of the lord than all of the other Kings before Him, BUT according to verse 30, Ahab was even worse, and did more evil in the sight of God than his father had done.
But God had not given up on the nation of Israel. In fact some Biblical scholars have suggested that God sent the greatest of the Old Testament prophets, a man named Elijah to King Ahab in an attempt to get him and the nation of Israel to repent of their sins and turn back to Him.
Let¡¦s read 17:1.
1. So the first thing we see is that Elijah obeyed God and informed King Ahab that He was going to send a severe drought or famine upon the nation of Israel to punish Him for all of the evil things he had done.