Summary: There are valleys that we all, at some time or another, have to walk through. The valleys are real...and to a great degree are to be expected. You probably have all heard the saying, "Into each life a little rain must fall." Sometimes more like a monsoo
GOD’S VOICE IN THE VALLEYS
1 KINGS 19:1 12
There are valleys that we all, at some time or another, have to walk through. The valleys are real...and to a great degree are to be expected. You probably have all heard the saying, "Into each life a little rain must fall." Sometimes more like a monsoon!!
But we would all do well to learn the truth that God speaks in the valleys. His voice can be heard even in the lowest times of life. This is a lesson that Elijah learned...and I hope we can gain some insight from his experience.
Most of you have heard of Elijah. He was quite a colorful character that we read of in the Old Testament. Now, he was around for quite a while, but we probably know most about his ministry during the reign of King Ahab in Israel.
Ahab was a king who knew about God, but became very laidback in his faithfulness to God. We also know a lot about his wife...a woman from the city of Tyre named Jezebel.
Jezebel was a person who was very religious...she was very devout in her worship...the problem was that the "god" she worshiped was Baal. Now, Baal was the Canaanite god of the storm and fertility.
And Jezebel made no apologies for her worship practices. Right in Israel she openly worshiped this false god...she erected a temple in his honor...she even supported a college to train his prophets.
Now, it would have been bad enough for his wife to be doing these things in Israel...but Ahab joined right in and worshiped Baal too. In fact, in chapter 16 it says that Ahab did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any king before him. And he provoked the Lord to anger.
Our main text is found in 1 Kings Chapter 19...But let’s go back a few chapters in 1 Kings so we can get the picture of what is taking place here in our story. During this time there came a great drought in the land of Israel...but it wasn’t just a freak of nature that caused this drought.
READ 17:1 ...So because of the horrible, grievous sins of Ahab and Jezebel, the heavens were closed and there was no rain. Now look at 18:1 (READ).
So shortly after this Ahab and Elijah meet again. And when they do...it ends up that Elijah challenges the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah to a contest.
What they did was got 2 piles of wood set up and brought out 2 bulls. On one, the prophets of Baal would cut up the bull and place it on the altar...on the other, Elijah would do the same, placing his bull on his pile of wood.
Each would then call on their god...and the one who answered by fire would be the god of Israel. Now, being the gentleman that he was, Elijah allowed them to go first. And they called on their god from morning till noon...but nothing happened.
So Elijah began to taunt them..."Maybe your god is busy...or traveling somewhere else. Shout a little louder, maybe your god fell asleep. Then they really got frantic...and they started cutting themselves with knives, making the blood flow...and they carried on like this til evening...but their god never answered.
Finally Elijah had them stop and he built an altar out of 12 stones and dug a trench around it. He arranged the wood, put the sacrificed bull on it...but then had them pour water on it. Three times they filled 4 large pots with water and poured it on the altar ...until it filled the whole trench.
And after calling on the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob... the fire of the Lord fell and burned up not just the sacrifice, but the wood, the stones, and even the soil...and dried up the water in the trench.
The people immediately recognized who the only true God was...and they fell on their faces before Him. Elijah then had the prophets of Baal taken to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered them there. After all this was done...he said that the rain that the people so desperately needed would now finally come.
Many of the people who witnessed this tremendous event confessed God as their God...and man, was Elijah ever flying high. Talk about a mountain top experience. He was completely overwhelmed with joy and enthusiasm.
He had seen God work in such a powerful way...and surely nothing could get him down now...or could it? That’s where we come to the next scene...the main text for today which is 19:1 12. READ
This very next scene is one that begins a very strange turn of events. Elijah’s mountaintop experience would very quickly be challenged...as we saw in verse 2...READ