Summary: There is a need for the Fire to fall again--a pure, unprofaned, holy fire from heaven to burn away the sacrifice so that the sweet rain of the Holy Spirit can come pouring down upon this land!
Let The Fire Fall!
INTRO: I want you to see this picture (show picture on screens). This is the world famous fire falls of Yosemite National Park. This spectacular show and amazing feat was cancelled by the park services back in 1968, and has never been seen since. But my mother saw it once before it was discontinued and she remembers the awe and majesty of watching the fiery flow plummet down hundreds of feet as the night slowly enveloped the grand landscape of Yosemite. She recalls the group of visitors growing still and quiet as the park ranger would direct their gaze toward the dimly outlined mountain side. Finally, when everyone’s attention was directed toward him, he would turn and hold the megaphone to his lips and cry out, “Let the fire fall!” At which moment the glow on the hillside would flare and and cascade would begin, taking the breath away of every person so blessed to witness its awesome visage. But despite the incredibleness of this man-made spectacle, it cannot hold up against the awesomeness of the Fire that God can pour out for His people!
1 Kings 18:20-39 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing. Then Elijah said to them, "I am the only one of the Lord's prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God." Then all the people said, "What you say is good." Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire." So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened." So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention. Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, "Your name shall be Israel." With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs [about 13 qts] of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood." "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!"
1. The Need For Rain
a. Because of Israel’s sin there had been no rain for three years