Summary: Message 5 in our study of the life and ministry of Elijah. This message visits Elijah's confrontation of Baalism on Mount Carmel.
Chico Alliance Church
Elijah Series #5
“Lessons at Mount Carmel”
Observing God’s interaction with Elijah and Elijah’s spiritual journey in his day provides insight and principles for us in our day which is not unlike what Elijah faced. The transitions in Elijah’s life follow a definite instruction from the Lord.
“And the word of the Lord came to Elijah”
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 Kings 17:1
II. Lessons from the brook where Elijah learned to trust God in obscurity and isolation. 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
God’s assignments are not always comfortable but critical.
God strategically places His “agents” everywhere.
God connects resources along the way of obedience
Only a renewed awareness of God’s perspective and presence can overcome
Tough assignments are not punishment for sin.
God is perfectly able to protect His children.
Much of the troubles in our life are the result of our rebellion.
God often calls on us to boldly confront evil and speak truth.
It is clear that Ahab had much greater concern for the economic consequences of the extended draught than the spiritual defection that precipitated it.
V. Lessons from Mount Carmel where Elijah confronted Baalism 18:20-41
Life is full of choices. At times I just hate making another choice in the day. Americans are super spoiled with the number of choices we have available. Some choices are insignificant, other choices have the potential of effecting the course and direction of the rest of our life. Today, we track Elijah up Mount Carmel where he solicits a significant choice from the people of Israel and provides a very powerful incentive to make the right one. The people of Israel had readily embraced the shallow sensual gratification of Baalism over the internal spiritual obedience to Yahweh which held the promise of both temporal and eternal blessing. Every time the people shifted their focus from the eternal God to some devil-designed power, they plunged into sensual and sexual addiction. Elijah nursed a compelling drive and passion to eliminate this destructive evil influence on the people of God.
The people gathered on Mount Carmel, thought to be a sacred site of Baal worship who was supposed to bring fertility to his worshippers, he issued a clear challenge to the people. It is interesting the prominence of mountain top experiences.
Moses on Sinai.
Elijah on Carmel.
Jesus Moses and Elijah on the “Mount of Transfiguration.”
Jesus will return to a mount to rule the world.
A. Elijah challenged the Israelites to follow God
So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel, and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And 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." But the people did not answer him a word. 18:20-21
Everyone gathered at Mount Carmel by the king’s command. The distance to Mount Carmel from Samaria is 57 miles, about a good day’s walk. Mount Carmel rises up to a height of 1,791 feet from a 24-mile-long mountain range along coast.
God will not share loyalty with anyone.
We must serve one or the other. We can’t have it both ways. Some think we have three options.
1. Follow God and God alone.
2. Follow the World and the world alone.
3. Embrace the best aspects of Christianity and the world.
God unequivocally declares that we must choose one or the other. To choose a mediating position is to choose against God. The response of the people is disheartening. Rather than choose one or the other, they refused to make a choice. The word here means to “skip”, hesitate, be lame. They refused to commit one way or the other.
B. Elijah challenged the false prophets of Baal
Then Elijah said to the people, "I alone am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal's prophets are 450 men. Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox, and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people answered and said, "That is a good idea."