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Summary: Elijah experiences ’burn out’. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(a). The characters concerned (vs 1-4):

• (1). The Weak King: Ahab (vs 1).

• (2). The Dominant Queen: Jezebel (vs 2).

• (3). The Discouraged Prophet: Elijah (vs 3-4).

(B). The Lord and Elijah (vs 5-18):

• (1). The Lord Reveals vs 5-14).

• (2). The Lord Commissions (vs 15-18).

(C). Elijah and the blues:

• (1). He had the Wrong Perspective.

• (2). He became Isolated.

• (3). He was experiencing ‘Burn out’.

SERMON BODY:

Quote:

• Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported that 30 years ago,

• The greatest fears of grade school children were:

• (1) Animals, (2) Being in a dark room, (3) High places, (4) Strangers, (5) Loud noises.

• Today, kids are afraid of the following:

• (1) Divorce, (2) War, (3) Cancer, (4) Pollution, (5) Being mugged.

Ill:

• One summer night during a severe thunderstorm,

• A mother was tucking her small son into bed.

• She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice,

• "Mommy, will you stay with me all night?"

• Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly,

• "I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room."

• A long silence followed.

• And the little boy said, "The big sissy!"

Fear is something we all have or will at times experience:

• Most of us experience it in mild forms,

• Some folks experience it in extreme forms.

• In our passage this morning we see Elijah afraid,

• In fact very afraid!

(a). The characters concerned:

• 1 Kings chapter 19 revolves around three key people: Ahab, Jezebel, and Elijah.

• Let’s look at the impact each had on the other.

(1). The Weak King: Ahab(vs 1).

“Now Ahab told Jezebel everything ELIJAH had done

and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword”.

• Ahab reported to his wife Jezebel;

• All the events that you looked at in last week service (chapter 18 of 1 Kings);

• If you do not know the story;

• Elijah the prophet of God took on 450 prophets of the false god Baal in a contest;

• It was a winner takes all challenge;

• And Elijah won!

• Note: Although the people saw God at work through a sensational miracle;

• (He sent fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice placed on an altar).

• Ahab didn’t, according to verse 1:

• He seemed to have missed the point of what had happened on Mount Carmel:

• Even though Ahab had witnessed God’s power;

• Notice that he did not attribute it to the true God;

• He attributes it to Elijah,

• And he has the nerve to blame him for the death of the prophets of Baal.

• Sadly instead of turning to the God of Elijah;

• Ahab turns instead to his dominant wife,

• Who eagerly and sadistically charge of the situation.

(2). The Dominant Queen: Jezebel (vs 2).

“So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them”.

• Now if you know the story of Ahab & Jezebel:

• You will know that Ahab may have been the king on the throne;

• But it was Jezebel the queen who really ruled.

• Quote: “Ahab wore the pants but Jezebel told him which ones!”

• Quote: “Ahab was the boss and he had his wife’s permission to say so!”

Ahab may have been defeated by Elijah but Jezebel would not be:

• So enraged at Elijah for humiliating her husband and her religion,

• She declared her revenge on the prophet Elijah.

As you read verse 2: Two questions naturally arise:

• Why ‘tomorrow’ and not today?

• Why send a ‘messenger’ and not a battalion of soldiers?

Answer:

• Jezebel was very craftily preparing a psychological trap for Elijah;

• Jezebel wasn’t only an evil woman; she was also a shrewd strategist,

• She knew how to make the most of Baal’s defeat on Mount Carmel.

• Her husband Ahab may be a quitter, but not his wife!

• Elijah was now a very popular man.

• If Jezebel transformed the prophet into a martyr by killing him,

• He might influence people more by his death than by his life.

• So Jezebel had a more cunning and evil way to diffuse the situation;

• She knew that the people were waiting for Elijah to tell them what to do next;

• So Jezebel knew that if she could remove him from the scene of his victory?

• That is if Elijah disappeared, then so would his influence;

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