Summary: In this lesson, we see Elijah stand all alone against the prophets of Baal and Asherah. We learn many things from Elijah's example, including the difference one person can make.
A. The story is told of a man who was solo skydiving for the very first time.
1. He had taken all the lessons and now it was time for his first solo jump.
2. He leapt out of the plane and as he was falling he panicked and couldn’t remember how to open his parachute.
3. As he was falling rapidly to the earth he suddenly encountered another guy who was going UP!
4. Seizing the opportunity he shouted, “Hey buddy, do you know how to work a parachute?”
5. The guy who was going up shouted back, “No! Do you know how to light a propane stove?”
B. Throughout the Bible we see that God has chosen fire to be a symbol of His presence.
1. As we will see today, God is going to reveal Himself in an amazing way through fire.
2. Today, we will see that no one knew how to start a fire like Elijah!
3. Today, we will see how this courageous prophet stood all alone against the false prophets of Baal and Asherah.
4. As God’s people today, we find ourselves standing against the current of culture, both secular and religious.
5. Will we have the courage to stand strong and stand alone if necessary?
6. That’s one of the things we want to learn how to do from Elijah.
C. Let’s review what led up to the showdown at Mt. Carmel.
1. Back in 1 Kings 17:1, God sent His prophet Elijah to King Ahab to announce that: “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
2. Then God told Elijah to hide himself by the brook at Cherith.
3. Then after the Cherith brook dried up, God sent Elijah to a widow’s home in Zarephath.
4. In both those places, Elijah had to trust God completely, and God never failed to provide what Elijah needed.
D. Months and years passed as the earth dried up in the drought.
1. Ahab searched Israel and the surrounding nations looking for Elijah, but the prophet could not be found.
2. Meanwhile, Elijah was trusting God and waiting for God to show him the next step.
I. The Story
A. That next step is where we begin today’s story in 1 Kings 18:1-2: After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.” 2 So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria…
1. Finally, after three long years, God spoke to His servant and sent him back to King Ahab.
2. The encounter between Elijah and Ahab must have been something to behold.
3. Remember, Elijah was the most wanted man in the land because he had predicted the drought and controlled it.
4. The land was devastated by the drought which caused a widespread famine.
5. You’ve seen pictures of drought stricken times and places; they are not pretty.
6. We have had a very dry summer, but can you imagine 3 years without rain?
B. The Bible says: 17 When he (Ahab) saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” (1 Kgs. 18:17)
1. The noun form of the Hebrew verb that means “to trouble, or to bring calamity” is here translated “troubler.”
2. There are occasions when this Hebrew word is used to mean “viper or snake.”
3. So in other words, Ahab was saying, “Is that you, you sorry snake in the grass?”
4. Ahab left no doubt about how he felt about Elijah.
5. Ahab believed that Elijah was responsible for all the trouble in the land.
6. So King Ahab approached Elijah with fire in his eyes as he spit out his condemnation: “You troubler of Israel. You snake!”
C. Now think of the courage required by Elijah to go to Ahab – He knew he was a wanted man.
1. Yet none of this seemed to faze Elijah, he was not intimidated.
2. On the contrary, he had the audacity to shift the blame back to where it belonged.
3. The Bible says: “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. (1 Kgs 18:18)
4. In other words, Elijah boldly told Ahab, “Don’t blame me for what’s happened. God brought this drought of judgment because of people like you. You’re the reason there hasn’t been rain. God has held back the rain because you have forsaken him and turned to idols.”
5. Elijah didn’t back down one inch – he stood toe to toe with King Ahab.