Summary: The people of God must never keep silent in the midst of attack on the message of the gospel. Elijah took a stand even in a hostile and homicidal environment. The people had so much compromised that they could not choose for Jehovah God.
BUT THE PEOPLE WERE SILENT
1 Kings 18:17-39 17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 18 And Elijah answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. 19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table. 20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: 24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. 26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. 30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: 32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. 36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.
INTRO: 1 KGS 18:21 BUT THE PEOPLE WERE SILENT (UNDECIDED) (Series On David)
On My Tours Around Israel, we were taken to Nazareth. From a hill believed to be the place in Luke 4 where the people of Nazareth got angry with Jesus and wanted to throw him over a cliff, the tour guide showed us places: Mt. Tabor (Judges 4): Where Deborah instructed Barak to fight Sisera the Canaanite commander and where Sisera was killed. Mt. Moreh (Judges 7): Where Gideon fought the Medianite army. Mt. Gilboa (1 Samuel 31): Where Saul and his sons were killed by the Philistines. Shunem (2 Kings 4): Below Mt. Gilboa where the Shunnamite woman accommodated Elisha and was promised a son who died and was raised back to life. Nain (Luke 7): 4 miles from Mt. Tabor where the widow’s son was raised back to life. Jezreel Valley that leads to Megiddo or Valley of Armageddon. From there you see the Jordan Valley, and especially Mt. Carmel where this passage took place - Prophet Elijah proposed a showdown with the priests of Baal due to Israel’s backsliding into idolatry. Wow!