Summary: A message that proves that God is present even in the "dry" times of life.
1 Kings 17:1 KJV And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
I. THE TIMES SURROUNDING ELIJAH
-1 Kings 17 begins with “and.” It was a time of great spiritual darkness. Ahab had provoked God more than any other king in the history of Israel.
1 Kings 16:33 KJV And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
-The problem with Ahab isn’t that he was necessarily a wicked man, he was a weak man. He had literally become the tool of a crafty and unscrupulous woman named Jezebel who incidentally was also his wife.
-He fell under the sway of a spirit of deception and manipulation. After Ahab married her for political reasons, she immediately went to work to destroy Israel and the effects of Jehovah.
• She built a temple to Astrarte in Jezreel that supported 450 priests.
• She built a temple in Samaria.
• She surrounded the land with shrines and groves to Baal.
• She started tearing down as many altars to Jehovah that she could find. (What is neglected will be broken down.)
-Priests of Baal were everywhere and once all of the construction to Baal was completed, she went on the offensive and cranked up the fires of persecution with a passion. Her fury was stoked and her hunger for their blood became insatiable.
-Prophets were hunted down and killed. They wandered about the land in goatskins and sheepskins. Obadiah was a lonely prophet in Ahab’s house who managed to hide a few of them in a cave. He did his best to shield them from the wrath of this terrible queen.
-The Bible indicates that 7000 were hidden away but they were paralyzed with fear.
-When you look at it from a simple point of logic, it appears that all was lost. But the fact of the matter was that the nation could not have been in a condition more ripe for revival.
Isaiah 59:19 KJV So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
-Suddenly on the scene, out of nowhere, appears a man. Here comes Elijah!!!
-Gilead was east of the Jordan River. It was a wild and rough land and it was the schoolhouse that God was going to use to turn into a prophet of fire. Don’t curse your geography. Instead of trying to leave your place, let God take that place to use it to turn you into an anointed vessel of the Lord.
-As he grew, he was earnest for God. He heard of Jezebel tearing down the altars, slaying prophets, building temples, and replacing the altar with idols.
What was this single man of God going to do?
Could one man really make a difference?
What was a wild, unschooled shepherd going to do?
-Elijah comes along and says, “I am tired of this mess. I am tired of the sin, the idolatry, the degradation, and I am tired of backing up!”
-Sometimes a prophet can be pushed, and pushed, and pushed, and pushed until finally he gets his back up against the wall and he draws a line in the sand and says, “Enough!”
-That is when you start allowing your frustrations to become fruitful.
• Going through the motions.
• Waffling Ahab’s.
• Persecuting Jezebel’s.
• Dissenting voices.
• Torn-down altars.
• Temples that exalt idols.
-All of these things can push a man toward a revival. It can push a church toward revival. These things ought to push us as a church toward revival. It ought to cause churches to be driven to be different.
-He decides that the best thing to do is to barge right in to the king’s court and tell him what God was going to do! That is the answer to the question. . . It is found in James 5:17.
James 5:17 KJV Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
-He wanted it to be fulfilled. He wanted revival. He desired to see God stand up and show the people who was still on the throne.
-The more he prayed, the more conviction grew! God had already let him in on a secret: If you will shut heaven down, I will turn on the miracles.