Summary: The great spiritual showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. Elijah reveals that there is no God but Jehovah. Elijah reveals the steps to a "fire from Heaven" Revival.
FIRE FROM HEAVEN
Intro: The burning question.
I kings 18:21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”
The question is still relevant today. Throughout the ages every generation, every nation, and every person must make this decision of what God they will serve.
I Kings 18:1-2 Now it happened after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.” 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria.
Elijah met up with Obadiah and told him to give Ahab a message.... “I’m coming!”
I Kings 18:15-16 Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
It has been over 3 years since Elijah stood before King Ahab. At that time, Elijah confronted the King with his sins and declared the Lord’s judgement against him and all Israel.
* Since then, the nation has suffered greatly and the king has looked for Elijah to kill him and rid his nation of God’s prophet
* The Mark of God’s Servant... When God says “GO”, he goes.
Big risk here. Stand before the King to speak judgement against him.
Elijah was either a man in touch with God...... or just “touched”.
ELIJAH’S 3 CHALLENGES
1. ELIJAH CHALLENGES KING AHAB (18:17-20)
1 Kings 18:17-18 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals.
Who is the troubler of Israel? Elijah stands up to Ahab and demands that Ahab is the cause of all of Israel's problems.
1 Kings 18:19 Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
Gather your prophets for a showdown. Why Mt. Carmel?
* It was a stronghold! Large Mountain. Whoever controls Carmel, controls the Northern ½ of nation militarily and politically.
* Whoever controlled Carmel controlled the nation spiritually.
** Years earlier, the idol-worshipers tore down the altar to God and erected a great altar to Baal. Baal worship was degrading religion.
Mixture of idolatry, perverted sexuality, and child sacrifice. They worshiped the idols Baal/Asheroth. These gods supposedly controlled agriculture, the weather, and fertility.
* Agriculture- gashed themselves on altar like crop rows. Blood-
* Fertility- Virgins would have sex with Priests before marrying to increase their fertility...
* Child sacrifice was a very common demand for answered prayer.
*** USA today... Idolatry– money, sports, hobbies, possessions..