Summary: This message focused in on Elijah at Zarephath which was literally right under the nose of the Baal worshippers. God sustained the prophet in enemy territory.


03 Living In Baal’s Backyard

TEXT: 1 Kings 17:8-16

1 Kings 17:8-16 KJV And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, [9] Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. [10] So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. [11] And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. [12] And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. [13] And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. [14] For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. [15] And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. [16] And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.


-We pick up with our man Elijah leaving the brook Cherith because it dried up. The ravens quit bringing him food and the famine has caught up with the creek that God had parked Elijah beside. If you use your imagination, it probably would lead us to think that Elijah was alarmed, worried, and distressed at this new turn of events.

James 5:17 KJV Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are. . .

-Despite that we do not find that Elijah said anything against God or his circumstances.

• He was silent before God.

• He waited in faith.

• He prayed in faith.

• He crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts in faith.

-Live in faith and rest in faith knowing the hand of God is at work!

-But with every brook that dries up, the righteous will hear the voice of God. . . the word of the Lord came unto him, saying. . . When God closes doors He generally opens up another door that is clear to us where we should go. Hindrances and obstacles are ways that God moves us forward.

-Just for a short detour, the book of Acts adds some principles about when course-changing decisions in life. This is just before Paul is about to experience his last recorded shipwreck. Paul had advised them not to sail but they refused to take his advice and it ended up detrimental for the ship although no life was lost.

Acts 27:13 KJV And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.

-I think that there were three principles that was guiding Paul to tell them not to go forward. (For another day: Sometimes you can get caught up in the storms of others despite your own advice for them not to get involved in it.) The principles we should consider when moving on from dried up brooks:

• The inner voice of conviction—Sometimes described as a “gut” feeling although I believe that those who are Spirit-filled and Word-driven, it is the wisdom of God.

• The outer voice of circumstances—What are the conditions on the outside? What are the wise counselors saying to me?

• The deciding voice of the Word of God—There is great direction that comes from the pages of Scripture if we are willing to seek it out.

-Elijah was experienced with the inner voice of conviction and the deciding voice of the Word of God. Now his outward circumstances are moving him forward. Follow this pattern in your life and make careful and spiritual choices about where you go.

-As we shall see sometimes moving forward does not necessarily seem to be the best place to go. When God leads in a surprising direction, don’t overanalyze it. Zarephath was moving Elijah into Baal’s neighborhood which was literally in the backyard of Baal country.

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