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Summary: We must have the courage to do battle.

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SHOWDOWN

I Kings 18:17-40

S: Courage

Th: Profiles in Courage

Pr: WE MUST HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO BATTLE.

?: Inductive

KW: Sections

TS: We will find in our study of I Kings 18:17-40 how the battle against evil is ensued.

The _____ section of our story is the…

I. CONTEST (17-19)

II. CONDUCT (20-24)

III. COMMOTION (25-29)

IV. CONSTRUCTION (30-35)

V. COMMUNION (36-38)

VI. CONFESSION (39)

VII. CORRECTION (40)

Version: ESV

RMBC 03 August 03 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Notebook: Trouble (two skunks)

“We have a skunk in the basement,” shrieked the caller to the police dispatcher. “How can we get it out?”

“Take some bread crumbs,” said the dispatcher, “and put down a trail from the basement out to the back yard. Then leave the cellar door open.”

Sometime later the resident called back. “Did you get rid of it?” asked the dispatcher.

“No,” replied the caller. “Now I have two skunks in there!”

1. Have you ever found yourself in more trouble than you started?

Well, that was certainly the case here, wasn’t it?

And this was certainly the case of the person that we are studying today.

We continue our series “Profiles in Courage” today, giving consideration to the prophet Elijah.

As we come to today’s story, it seems that Elijah faces a tremendous amount of trouble.

Let me give you some context…

2. Elijah had been the messenger of bad news.

God had sent Elijah to the northern kingdom of Israel.

At this point in time, Ahab is the king, and his wife is Jezebel.

They were not leaders that were following the ways of the Lord.

In fact, they were doing just the opposite.

They were leading the people of Israel to worship the other gods of Canaan, specifically Baal and Asherah.

So, Elijah comes to announce an impending doom.

Because of their disobedience, a drought was coming – no rain and no dew – until he said differently.

This made Elijah a marked man.

You might think that Ahab would straighten out his act.

No, this is not the case.

Instead…

3. Ahab had blamed and pursued Elijah.

Instead of trying to get on Elijah’s good side, he decides that this was Elijah’s fault.

And somewhere in his peculiar thinking, he believes that killing Elijah would end the problem.

So Elijah has been in trouble, because Ahab has had an APB (All Points Bulletin) out on him.

Elijah has become Israel’s most wanted fugitive.

We can see right away that Elijah shouldn’t be in trouble.

After all, Ahab had no one to blame but himself.

He had followed the poor example of his father.

He had married poorly.

And he had been a poor spiritual leader for the people, misleading them into an evil idolatry.

And…

4. It was now time to confront the evil.

Three years have gone by.

It is time for the showdown.

And this is going to be big.

It is going to be bigger than Pepsi versus Coca-Cola.

It is going to be bigger than “Thrilla of Manila.”

It is going to be bigger than North versus the South at Gettysburg.

The man Ahab has been pursuing is now eyeball to eyeball with him.

The man he has hunted is now standing before him

The man he has wanted to kill says its showdown time.

So…

5. We will find in our study of I Kings 18:17-40 how the battle against evil is ensued.

OUR STUDY:

I. The first section of our story is the CONTEST (17-21).

[17] When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, "Is it you, you troubler of Israel?" [18] And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. [19] Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table." [20] So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. [21] And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." And the people did not answer him a word.

Ahab has a lot of nerve.

He approaches Elijah by calling him the troubler of Israel.

He blames him for bringing the drought and incurring the wrath of the Baals.

Interestingly, Elijah was not troubled by the indictment of Ahab.

He points out wisely that the troublemakers are those who do not follow the commandments.

The real problem was not the lack of rain.

The real problem was a lack of faithfulness to the Creator God.

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