Summary: Message 4 in our study of the life and ministry of Elijah. This message explores lessons learned from a second visit to the palace.
Chico Alliance Church
Elijah Series #4
“Lessons from the Palace Part 2”
There are two stages to our study of the life of Elijah.
First, we want to examine the passage.
The provided outline provides some sort of logical structure to the passage.
We want to examine God’s interaction with Elijah.
We want to examine God’s intervention in human history.
We want to examine Elijah’s response to God and his journey of faith.
We want to examine Elijah’s interaction with people and circumstances.
We want to examine people interaction with God and Elijah.
Second, we want to extract the universal principles embedded in the passage. There are lessons to be learned from what God chose to record for all time. Even though the passage describes things directly related to Elijah and the specific times, we do find a certain possible principle that relate to our life today. Some of the issues that Elijah faced are not all that different from the times in which we live in the circumstances which we encounter. The periods in Elijah’s life follow a definite instruction from the Lord.
“And the word of the Lord came to Elijah”
The response to that instruction was nearly always prompt obedience.
I. Lessons from the Palace where Elijah boldly announced God’s judgment for sin. 1 Kings 17:1
Elijah confronted Ahab the King of Israel for leading the whole nation into decadent Baal worship. Elijah announced that God would withhold rain for a period of 3 ½ years.
II. Lessons from the brook where Elijah learned to trust God in obscurity and isolation. 1 King 17:2-7
Following the brief but dramatic confrontation in the palace, God directed Elijah to a place of obscurity and isolation for a period of time. It was there that God protected and provided. He commanded ravens to feed him twice a day and enjoyed a continuous supply of water from the brook Cherith.
III. Lessons from Zarephath where Elijah learned to trust God in ministry 17:8-24
after a period of time the brook dried up God issued new direction to the town called Zarephath very close to King Ahab’s wicked wife Jezebel’s hometown.
It was there that God commanded a pagan destitute widow woman to provide for Elijah’s needs. It was there that Elijah learned some things about God and trust and prayer that would come into play in a greater arena in the near future. Today we follow Elijah back to the palace for another confrontation with King Ahab. We will examine the passage and try to extract the possible universal principles.
IV. Lessons from the Palace Part two 1 Kings 18:1-19
A. Elijah received new instructions to confront Ahab 1 Kings 18:1
Now it came about after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, "Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth."
Again, Elijah learned to be content wherever God placed Him. It had been three years since the first encounter that began Elijah’s journey. Three years of either obscurity or limited interaction and ministry. Elijah was content to stay put until God revealed the next step. Several years serving the needs of a widow and her son not in complete isolation but definite obscurity. God does not always give specific direction for every event, every day.
I am not sure what Elijah did during that time but I am sure he didn’t stay idle.
God expects us to operate by the wisdom gained through our interaction with Him and a knowledge of His will. Paul prayed that the Colossians be filled with the knowledge of His will. The last specific direction given to Elijah was to go to the widow’s house. For three years he continued to live day by day in his relationship with God.
Elijah received new instructions to go talk to Ahab again. The last time he talked to Ahab the ruthless, idolatrous king was to pronounce judgment in the form of a devastating drought. Ahab and his murderous wife had been looking for him. The drought caused things to get really bad and it was all Elijah’s fault.
Now God instructed him to show himself to Ahab. Before this point, God told him to stay clear of Ahab. Now he told him to go show himself to Ahab. Reenter the fray.
B. Elijah promptly obeyed 1 Kings 18:2
So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab.
Once again Elijah promptly obeyed the Word of the Lord. He was willing to take on the uncomfortable, difficult and life-threatening task. Elijah had a heart for obedience knowing that God had never let him down yet. He learned previously to trust God and stood ready to face whatever God had next. God allowed pressure to come on Ahab and the people through the severity of the famine. Sometimes EVERYBODY suffers for the rebellion of a leader, group or nation.