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Summary: This sermon outline challeges Christians to take a stand for God. The sermon illustrates three lessons found in the text.

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I. Introduction

A. Background

1. Ahab’s father Omri brought back Baal Worship.

2. Ahab and his wife Jezebel continued in Baal worship.

3. YHWH declared Elijah as prophet over Israel and caused a drought.

4. Ahab and Jezebel killed God’s prophets.

5. Obadiah hid God’s prophets in caves around the Jordan River.

6. Elijah Meets Obadiah and ask to meet Ahab.

i. Obadiah is fearful that Elijah will hide and he will be killed.

II. God’s people will be persecuted. (16-19)

A. Baal was the Canaanite fertility god.

1. Baal was thought to send rain.

2. Known as “One who rides on the clouds” in Ugaritic text.

3. Baal is usually depicted as having a lightning bolt in one hand.

4. “Baal” literally means “master” or “lord.”

B. Ahab thought Baal was angry because Elijah was still alive.

1. Ahab thought that Baal would continue to cause a drought until Elijah was dead.

2. Elijah reversed the claim that he was the “troubler” and lets Ahab know that he is the real “troubler of Israel.”

C. Today God’s people will be persecuted.

1. Sometimes it means friends may ridicule us.

2. Family members may mock us.

3. (Youth) It may mean that you will not be the most popular person.

D. Jesus told his disciples that the world would hate them. (John 15:18-19)

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you.”

III. God can have no rivals. (20-24)

A. The people wanted the best of both worlds. (YHWH and Baal)

B. Elijah confronts them by asking, “How long will you hesitate between two options?”

1. The Hebrew literally means, “How long will you continue limping from one foot to the other?”

2. “Limping” (Hebrew Pasak) only occurs three times in the Old Testament.

i. In 2 Samuel 4:4, it is used to describe Mephibosheth who “became crippled.”

ii. Used right here in verse 21.

iii. In verse 26, it is probably used as a pun to describe the ridiculous dance done by the prophets of Baal.

3. Elijah’s questions is similar to Joshua’s “choose you this day” speech found in Joshua 24:15.

C. Many times we want the benefit of eternal life along with the pleasures of the world.

1. We want the church life, but aren’t willing to get forget about worldly things.

D. Jesus said “no man can serve two masters, for he will hate one and serve the other. (Matthew 6:24)

E. God can have no rivals.

IV. Only God has the ultimate power. (25-29)

A. Elijah gives the prophets of Baal the home field advantage.

1. The prophets of Baal believed that their sacrifices on Mount Carmel would manipulate Baal into sending rain on the land.

2. From Mount Carmel you can look across the Mediterranean Sea and watch the thunderstorms form.

3. Baal is called in called in the Ugaritic text as the one “who hurls lightning to the earth.

i. This contest should be easy for such a god.

ii. Elijah knew that there was no threat because Baal did not exist.

B. Elijah began to taunt the prophets of Baal.

1. “Gone aside” refers to Baal using the bathroom.

2. It is known from the Ugaritic text that Baal could “fall asleep,” practice “self mutilation” and go “on a journey.”


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