Summary: This is the first sermon in a series on Elijah.
I. Meet Elijah
This morning we begin a sermon series entitled Elijah: The prophet of God. Over the next few weeks we are going to delve into the life and ministry of the prophet Elijah. Elijah is one of two men in the Bible who did not die. The Other being Enoch from the book of Genesis.
But before we begin it is necessary to have a quick history lesson.
The nation of Israel had once been, under the leadership of David and Solomon, one of the richest most blessed nations in the world. Surrounding nations feared the God of the nation of Israel. But during the latter years of Solomon’s reign, Solomon began to drift from God.
Because of his many marriages to women who worshipped other Gods, he allowed his wives to continue to worship these Gods in Israel. Solomon probably thought what harm could do? But as Solomon continued to drift, he too began to worship those other Gods.
As the nation of Israel lost its focus, it also lost the one thing that brought all 12 tribes together- The one true God. As a result the 12 tribes divided themselves into nations… 10 of the tribes left and formed a new nation… But this new nation formed from the 10 tribes chose not to allow God to be its foundation. Listen to how far they strayed…
Listen to 1 Kings 12:25-32.
This action by Jeroboam set in motion a heritage of Godlessness and civil chaos. Did you hear the words spoken by Jeroboam? He was afraid that if they returned to Jerusalem to worship they would want to unite as one nation again. So they created their own religion, chose their own Gods, set up their own religious holidays and festivals…
This action stemmed from the seemingly harmless action of Solomon allowing his wives to bring their own Gods into his land.-The one true God’s land- The Promised Land.
Make no mistake sin will take you further than you’ll ever want to go. Like an ocean’s undertow, you may not even realize that you are drifting until it is too late.
King after King followed the reign of Jeroboam… None being highly successful… Each one becoming increasingly more perverse and sinful. In fact of all the other Gods that Israel, Yahweh, the one true God was completely pushed out of any national recognition. In Fact under Ahab’s reign to worship the one true God could and usually would result in death. God, The one true God was squeezed out of any place in their world.
It is here in this crazy messed up religious picture where our man Elijah enters the picture…
Turn again in your bibles to 1 Kings 16 beginning in verse 29.
At the end of this passage we are told of an act that typified how far they had strayed from God.
We are told of a man named Hiel who tried to rebuild Jericho, but in the process of building both his oldest and youngest sons were killed.
Listen to what Joshua 6:26 says: At that time Joshua invoked a curse; May the curse of the Lord fall on anyone who tries to rebuild the city of Jericho. At the cost of his firstborn son he will lay the foundation. At the cost of his youngest son he will set up the gates. God was just beginning to try to get their attention. No matter how much we run from God or try to create out own God’s or our own way God will not be ignored. He is and always will be the one true God.