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Summary: Part 2 of 6 in a series on Basic Bible Doctrines

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INTRODUCTION: This morning we’re going to begin by looking at one of the most powerful scenes recorded for us in the Old Testament… Elijah goes 450 to 1 against the prophets of Baal.

After going all day without an answer the prophets of Baal are forced to concede that their god isn’t going to answer and now it’s Elijah’s turn… he prepares his alter, soaks it down 3 times and then prays a simple prayer… the response is dramatic! BOOM! Fire from heaven, consuming the sacrifice, the alter, and the water… nothing but scorched earth remains – this was one mighty display of God’s power

BACKGROUND: But as mighty of a display as it was the words of Elijah’s prayer that have always fascinated me, and not necessarily in a positive way… listen to what he prays, we’ll pick up at vs. 36. In this passage there is a peculiar statement “that this people may know that you O Lord are God…” Wait a minute, do these people not know that God is God, the same God that called them “my people,” that led them out of bondage in Egypt, and into the Promised Land? Had the children of Israel really “forgotten” God to the point that they didn’t know Him anymore? – The answer appears to be “Yes”

And at the heart of this situation is a fundamental question that has to be asked, and then it has to be answered – mainly, what is my highest objective in life? What is my ultimate pursuit? Keep that question in mind as we go along…

DOES GOD WANT TO BE KNOWN?

• The simple answer to this question is Yes, God desires to be known, He makes himself so visible to us that it takes great action on our part not to see Him

• (1) God makes Himself known through His Creation

• The land, the sea, the stars in the sky… all speak to the existence of God, they give us the generalities about Him… His existence, His Power, and His Glory

• (2) God makes Himself known through His Word

• From His Word we discover the details of the generalities from creation…

• We learn who God is (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)

• We learn what God does (Creation and Redemption)

• We learn what God’s ultimate desire is (His Glory through His relationship with us)

• Consider the words of J.I. Packer – “Disregard the study of God and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what is around you.”

• (3) God makes Himself known through Our Relationship

• This relationship extends to both individuals and nations

• God speaks to us in ways that its impossible for us to miss, but so often we do miss it, not because He’s ineffective at communicating, but that we’re ineffective at listening

• Consider once again the world’s longest camping trip which we looked at here some time back, the children of Israel out in the wilderness

• God gives them food, water, clothes that don’t wear out, a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day to guide them, these pillars are the very presence of God Himself (Shekinah Glory)

• Consider God’s interaction with Adam and Eve, walking together in the garden in the cool of the evening – 1 on 1 fellowship, and even after it was broken, God didn’t disappear – He was still there!

• As the great Christian apologist and philosopher Francis Schaeffer observed “God is there – and He is not silent”

• In his blindness Samson saw God… In the darkness and stench of a fishes belly... Jonah saw God

• We too can see God, all we have to do is look for Him (Jeremiah 29:13)

KNOWING VS. KNOWING ABOUT

• One can know a great deal about God and still not know Him

• Liberal scholars by the truckload “know” about God, but they do not know God – they can quote scripture, tell you about Jesus, and appear to have all the answers… but their knowledge of ≠ knowing

• Today we can run the same risk, we can have a lot of “head knowledge” about God but not have a saving relationship with Him

• What we know about God is transformative, but only if we want to be transformed

• Even the demons know about God, and Jesus, and they know that they are God… but it doesn’t impact the way they live

• The Priests of Jesus’ day knew much about God – they knew the Law, and the Prophets, they knew the traditions of the Elders, but they didn’t know God – for if they had known God, they wouldn’t have rejected Jesus

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