Summary: The 6th in a series of messages on the life of teh Prophet Elijah
Sermon by: Dr. Todd Morris
Text: I Kings 18:16-40
Title: It’s Show Time (Elijah #6)
Date: March 21, 2004
Introduction: We have had the privilege over the past few weeks of observing God as He trained a man named Elijah. We saw Him bring him from nowhere, set him before an king and use him to strike fear into the hearts of a nation. We have seen God send him through one trial after another to teach him total dependence on the power and provision of God. We have seen the contrast between Elijah and others who claimed they knew the Lord. We have learned much about this man. Yet all that we have seen Elijah go through was in preparation for what we will read about this morning.
All the training, all the trial, and all the trusting were to bring Elijah to the place where he could stand in the pure power of God and show a lost nation that Jehovah, not Baal was the Lord of all. 1 Kings 19:18 tells us that the entire nation of Israel, with the exception of 7000 faithful people had given themselves over to the worship of Baal. Even the king and queen of Israel were leaders in the worship of this false God. Yet God had not forgotten His investment in this people. He had not forgotten how He had chosen them out of all the other peoples of the world and set them apart as His people. He had not forgotten how He had brought them out of Egypt and led them through the wilderness. He remembered giving them the land, the Law and the covenants of promise. He never forgot for an instant that they were His people and that He had a plan for them.
Therefore God called Elijah, He trained Him, and groomed Him, all in preparation for this moment. A moment when God would call a nation back to Himself. A moment when God would prove beyond all question that He was the Lord God Almighty!
For Elijah this was an event that required great faith and courage, but he had been adequately prepared by the Lord for this very task. In fact it was time for Elijah to prove that he was who he was rumored to be. It was time for him to put up or shut up. In other words, It’s Show Time!
This passage has much to say to the church today. We live in a day of half-hearted service, when people serve the gods of self, materialism, recreation and pleasure more than they serve the God of Heaven! I’m not taking about the world this morning, we expect the world to be like that, but the church is much like that today. God wants us to know today that He is still God! He hasn’t forgotten the investment He has made in us, and like He called Israel back to Himself on Mt Carmel, He wants to call His people back to Himself today!
I believe there are truths in this passage that speak to our hearts today. Let’s dig into these verses and see what they have to say about our relationship with and service to the God of our salvation.
I THE CHALLENGE EXTENDED (17-24)
A. Elijah Challenges the Potentate (17-20)
1. A Confrontation (17) – Ahab accuses Elijah of being a trouble maker.
2. A Condemnation (18) – Elijah’s response was to look Ahab in the eye and tell him the truth.
3. A Challenge (19-20) – Elijah tells Ahab to send for everyone including the false prophets and they will decide once and for all who was God.
B. Elijah Challenges the People (21)
1. A Question – Simply put Elijah’s question was how long are you going to waiver between two ways of life? The same question needs to asked of church members today.
a. Any excuse not to worship.
2. A Quandary – Elijah tells the people that they have a problem, they are living a contradictory life. If God is the Lord…then Baal cannot be. They will have to choose which of the two they will follow.
a. The same is true of the church today. If God is the Lord, then the things of this world cannot be.
3. A Quietness – When Elijah extends the challenge the people say nothing. They have no backbone to stand! They want to be acceptable to everyone. They refuse to stand, but by refusing they are standing with Baal.
C. Elijah Challenges the Prophets (22-24)
1. The Teams (22) – Elijah is just one man against 450 men. Talk about faith and courage!
2. The Terms (23-24) – Elijah lays out the challenge to the people and the prophets.
3. The Tragedy (24b) – It is a tragedy that the people are even willing to consider Baal after all that God has done for them.