Summary: Elijah was a praying man. This sermon gives three keys to confident prayer. 1. God is Alive. 2. Believers stand before God in Prayer. 3. The Authority of Gods Word.
THE ELIJAH CHURCH A PRAYING CHURCH
1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
James 5:17-18 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
1 Kings 18:41-46 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ” Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. Then the hand of the LORD came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
1 Kings 16:29-34 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri became king over Israel; and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and with his youngest son Segub he set up its gates, according to the word of the LORD, which He had spoken through Joshua the son of Nun.
Ahab was 7th in line from King David’s day – however he ruled over a split nation - after Solomon’s death the Northern Kingdom Israel consisting of ten tribes and the Southern Kingdom Judah consisting of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin split. Ahab was a “false King”. His line was full of corruption:
First two Kings of Israel did not serve God and were alcoholics, the third was a murderer, and the fourth also a murderer, the fifth was accused of spiritual treason and the sixth was described as worse than those who had gone before. Ahab married Jezebel – a marriage of political convenience and spiritual consequences – he introduced Baal and Asherah worship he executed, persecuted and imprisoned the prophets of God.
Baal and Asherah were male and female false gods:
a. God’s that could be bribed – give the right offering and all will be well
b. God’s that invoked fertility and barrenness
c. God’s that required child sacrifices
In Ahab’s time Jericho was rebuilt – so we see a people that had been infiltrated with idolatry, immorality and irreverence.
ELIJAH’S SUDDEN APPEARANCE AND DECLARATION
“As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
God was dramatically challenging Baalism, or the belief of the people in Baal, on the very thing they worshipped Baal for--RAIN! On the one side there was Ahab the King, the ruthless and notorious Jezebel, the impotent and false god Baal, and the Baal priests and priestesses. On the other side was Yahweh and a single servant, the prophet Elijah, a man of faith, deeply committed to God. It was a question of authenticity.
THREE KEYS THAT ELIJAH KNEW THAT MADE HIM A CONFIDENT AND FAITHFUL PRAYER WARRIOR:
KEY 1 HE KNEW THE LIVING GOD
“As the Lord, the God of Israel lives,” show us Elijah was convinced and confident in God’s person. “Living” is the first word in the statement of Elijah in the Hebrew text. It is emphatic by its position and stresses his faith in the fact of the reality of God. In the Hebrew text, the words “living” and “LORD” (Yahweh) are bound together rather than separated as in the English Bible. This combination was a device for introducing an oath or a solemn statement of fact. We are to translate it like the NASB with the word “as.” Literally, it is “As living is Yahweh”