Summary: This sermon deals with the problems we face when we blame others, rather than repent.
Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O’ troubler of Israel?” And he answered “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals.” 1Kings 18:17-18 (KJV)
After the death of Solomon, the great Kingdom of Israel was divided. It would never be known again as one Kingdom. It would now be known in the North as Israel, but in the South, the Tribes would be known as Judah . From the very outset, the Northern Kings were, almost without exception, wicked. They were idolatrous men. They introduced- brought into Israel- idols from their heathen neighbors.
Among these is one of my favorite bible characters - Old testament characters, a king by the name of Ahab. None of the previous kings, or all of them put together, were as wicked as Ahab. You have heard me say before when taking about Ahab, the bible says that Ahab did more to provoke God than all of the Kings in Israel’s history, and I always chuckle, because when God talks about Ahab, God has nothing good to say about him.
You know when God has nothing good to say about you, you are in bad shape! Ahab provoked God; he tried God’s patience. He would be warned and then ignore the warning. Judgment would come and he would ignore the judgment. He did more to provoke God than any King in Israel’s history.
I want you to know my brothers and sisters, that God is long suffering. He is full of grace, but sooner or later judgment will come. During the reign of King Ahab, judgment came. This King had been warned. Let me tell you about it. I have told you about his wife Jezebel. She was unruly, ungodly, and unmanageable. She was a pagan queen who brought into God’s holy nation her pagan gods and forced Israel to worship them. God tried to warn him, and he would not hear, and God’s judgment visited the people.
Whenever God’s people choose to ignore God’s warning, plagues and punishment are sure to come. Because of their sins, God sent plagues in the midst of Ahab’s hellish reign God had a prophet. Ahab had promised to kill all of the prophets. Someone in his own household by the name of Obadiah was a godly man, and Obadiah hid all of the prophets of Israel in caves and fed them. Elijah went into hiding, but in the midst of all of this God raised up Elijah-fearlessly raised up Elijah- to speak what God wanted him to say. We ought not make any mistake about it my brothers and sisters; God always will have someone who will speak for him. The Lord God Jehovah is never without a witness. He always will have someone to speak for him.
There was Elijah, through whom God dealt with Ahab and Israel. One day God sends Elijah to tell Ahab that for three years, it would not rain. No rain, dew would not even fall from the sky. The heavens were shut up. And because the heavens were shut up there was a scarcity of food and it resulted in famine. Things got pretty bad. But in the third year of the drought, and in the midst of this famine, God commands Elijah. He says, “Go back and tell Ahab that rain is on the way.” And the text says- you have heard it read this morning-the text tells us of a meeting between Prophet Elijah and King Ahab.
Elijah had been the one who announced the impending doom - since he brought the bad news, Ahab blamed him for the misery- since he brought the message. You know sometimes the messenger gets killed just because he brought bad news. Elijah brings the news, to Ahab and Ahab blamed him for the poverty and for the want and misery and all of the suffering. The King looks up and sees the prophet, and he says, “oh there you are. You are the worst, the biggest troublemaker in all of Israel.” Its amazing how, when trouble comes, people will look at everything and everyone else and everywhere else instead of looking at themselves. It is easier for Ahab to blame the prophets rather than the people. It was a misguided blame.
Look at it, “You are” he says to the prophet the “worst trouble maker in all of Israel. You put us in this mess.” That is what he is saying. Well look at us and look at our day. It is easier for us to blame the schools and the police, government and Internet ,than for us to take responsibility for ourselves. I must say to you my brothers and sisters that whether we want to acknowledge it or not, whatever we see going on in our society today is symptomatic of the home. I need to say that again. Let me put it another way for you. Whatever plagues our communities is a reflection on what has happened to the home. In our homes we are fragmented, torn apart. In our homes God has been left out and our family prayer time has been become extinct. We come and go in our homes by shifts. Yet men and women blame everything else and everyone else instead of saying lets get our homes together.