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Summary: Take a stand for God. Commit to Him completely.

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Straddling Fences

January 11, 2009 Morning Service

Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK

Rick Boyne

Message Point: Take a stand for God. Commit to Him completely.

Focus Passage: I Kings 18:17-40

Introduction:

Ahab’s father Omri brought back Baal Worship. Ahab and his wife Jezebel continued in Baal worship. YHWH declared Elijah as prophet over Israel and caused a drought. Ahab and Jezebel killed God’s prophets. Obadiah hid God’s prophets in caves around the Jordan River. Elijah Meets Obadiah and ask to meet Ahab. Obadiah is fearful that Elijah will hide and he will be killed. Baal was the Canaanite fertility god and was thought to send the rain. Baal was usually depicted as having a lightning bolt in one hand.

I. God’s people will be persecuted. V17-18

a. Ahab called Elijah “you toubler of Israel”. Elijah reversed that claim and let Ahab know that HE was the toubler.

b. God’s people will be persecuted today. Here in America: taunts, jokes, made fun of. Overseas: death, lose job/families, etc.

c. 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.”

II. 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?” This literally means “limping from one foot to the other”. Same sort of question that Joshua makes in Joshua 24:15 “Choose you this day”.

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

i. 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)

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

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

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

ii. Baal is called in called in the Ugaritic text as the one “who hurls lightning to the earth. This contest should be easy for such a god.

b. The world has no power OVER God.

c. Elijah made sure God received the Glory. (30-35)

d. The prophets of Baal are killed. Following Deuteronomy 13:1-11 that requires false prophets to be killed.

IV. Conclusion: We must to kill the things in our life that are contrary to God. We need to realize that when we live godly lives we will be ridiculed. We are called by God to be “unashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16) We can’t live with one foot in the church and one foot in the world. It is time to quit hopping on one foot and start standing firm on the promises of God.

a. i. Come to pray for strength to resist the ridicule.

ii. Come to Decide to quit hopping and start walking with Jesus.

Invitation:


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