Summary: Message 6 in our study of the life and ministry of Elijah. This message follows Elijah to the mountaintop where he prayed for rain.
Chico Alliance Church
Elijah Series #6
“Lessons from a Mountain Top”
Observing God’s interaction with Elijah and Elijah’s spiritual journey in his day provides insight and principles for us in our day which has become similar to what Elijah fought in his day. The transitions in Elijah’s life follow a definite instruction from the Lord.
“And the word of the Lord came to Elijah”
Elijah’s general response to these direction was prompt obedience. There is much to learn from Elijah. So far, some key elements to Elijah’s life is his bold prayer, his listening ear, his prompt obedience, his contentment to serve wherever God put him.
I. Lessons from the Palace where Elijah boldly announced God’s judgment for sin. 1 Kgs 17:1
II. Lessons from the brook where Elijah learned to trust God in obscurity and isolation. 1 Kgs 17:2-7
III. Lessons from Zarephath where Elijah learned to trust God in ministry 17:8-24
IV. Lessons from the Palace Part two where Elijah confronted Ahab again Kings 18:1-19
V. Lessons from Mount Carmel where Elijah confronted Baalism 18:20-40
With one simple prayer, Elijah’s passion for revival was realized as God sent fire from heaven and the people proclaimed their allegiance to Yahweh (at least temporarily). Elijah and the people drove the prophets of Baal down the mountain and although some suggest they chucked them over a 1,400-foot precipice to the river bed below a later verse clearly indicates that they were killed with the sword. This would be in accordance with the instructions found in Deuteronomy 13 regarding false prophets who entice the people to serve any god but Yahweh.
Elijah demonstrated the boldness we later observe in John the Baptist standing up against evil. Scripture predicts that John would come in the “spirit of Elijah.” Elijah denounced not only Baalism but separatism between the tribes by restoring the broken and abandoned altar to Yahweh with TWELVE stones (one for each tribe).
One more thought about Elijah’s declaration that he was alone in his fight. It could be he wasn’t discounting the fact that there were still other prophets but at least at this particular encounter it was him against 450 prophets of Baal.
VI. Lessons from a Mountain Top where Elijah fervently prays 18:41-46
Prayer characterized Elijah’s life and ministry all along. James commented on Elijah’s prayer life.
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 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 earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:16-18
Elijah struggled with all of the issues we struggle with in regard to life. Elijah’s prayer affected the world around him. Elijah prayed that it wouldn’t rain and it didn’t. Elijah payed attention to God’s direction as to where to go and what to do. Elijah asked God to raise the widow’s son from the dead and He did.
Elijah asked God to send fire down on the offering and He did.
A. Elijah predicted rain to Ahab 18:41-42
Now Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower." So Ahab went up to eat and drink.
This is a bold move for Elijah. He hasn’t even prayed yet. It is obvious that he maintained a continual communication with God. In fact, God already informed Elijah He would send rain in verse one. Elijah previously informed Ahab that it would not rain again until HE said so. Now he said so. Elijah heard something no one else heard or saw. Elijah heard by faith the hand of God fulfilling His promise not only to Elijah but
the draught stricken people. I don’t know where Ahab was during the slaughter of Baal’s prophets but Elijah told Ahab to go up and eat.
I am not sure the significance of the “go up and eat” thing.
Some connect it to the sharing of the sacrificial meal.
Elijah attended a more important meeting with Yahweh.
While Ahab feasted, Elijah fasted.
B. Elijah prayed for rain 18:41-44
But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." So he went up and looked and said, "There is nothing." And he said, "Go back" seven times. It came about at the seventh time, that he said, "Behold, a cloud as small as a man's hand is coming up from the sea."
Tradition speculates the young servant was the widow’s son.
The text does not, but it is good sentiment.
Elijah crouched down to petition God to send rain.