Summary: God shows Elijah that his faithful presence is to be valued over manifestations of his spectacular power!
Title: 40 Days Of Running
Series title: Experiencing God
“Even Prophets Feel Like Quitting”
Text: 1 kings 19:1ff
the big idea God shows Elijah that his faithful presence is to be valued over manifestations of his spectacular power!
The story of God working in Elijah’s life!
From the mountain to the desert…God meets Elijah in the desert as well as on the mountain top! I kings 19:1ff
Situation: introduce man players: Ahab + jezebel + Elijah.
58 years had passed since the kingdom was ripped apart in 931 B.C…100 years of growth and power under David/Solomon was over … 2 kingdoms 10—2…in these 58 years the north had 7 different kings…#7 was Ahab—the worst of a bad bunch.
Ahab, son of Omri, the seventh king of Israel, who reigned for twenty-two years, from 876 to 854 (1 Ki 16:28ff), was one of the strongest and at the same time one of the weakest kings of Israel
In the days of David and Solomon commercial trade existed between the Hebrews and the Phoenicians.
• Ahab, recognizing the advantages from an alliance with the foremost commercial nation of his time, renewed the old relations with the Phoenicians and cemented them by his marriage with Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre (the Ithobalos, priest of Astarte mentioned by Meander).
• He next turns his attention to the establishment of peaceful and friendly relations with the kindred and neighboring kingdom of Judah. For the first time since the division of the kingdoms the quarrels are forgotten, “and Jehoshaphat,” the good king of Judah, “made peace with the king of Israel.” This alliance, too, was sealed by a marriage relationship, Jehoram, the crown-prince of Judah, being united in marriage with the princess Athaliah, daughter of Ahab.
Ahab’s far-sighted foreign policy was the opposite of his short-sighted religious policy.
Through his alliance with Phoenicia he not only set in motion the currents of commerce with Tyre, but invited Phoenician religion as well.
• The worship of Yahweh by means of the golden calves of Jeroboam appeared antiquated to him.
• Baal, the god of Tyre, the proud mistress of the seas and the possessor of dazzling wealth, was to have an equal place with Yahweh, the God of Israel.
• Accordingly he built in Samara a temple to Baal and in it erected an altar to that god, and at the side of the altar a pole to Asherab (1 Ki 16:32, 33).
• On the other hand he tried to serve Yahweh by naming his children in his honor—Ahaziah (“Yah holds”), Jehoram (“Yah is high”), and Athaliah (“Yah is strong”).
• However, Ahab failed to realize that while a coalition of nations might be advantageous, a syncretism of their religions would be disastrous.
• He failed to apprehend the full meaning of the principle, “Yahweh alone is the God of Israel.”
• MEET JEZEBEL (WHAT A CATCH!)
• In Jezebel, his Phoenician wife, Ahab found a champion of the foreign culture, who was as imperious and able as she was vindictive and unscrupulous.
• She was the patron of the prophets of Baal and of the devotees of Asherab (1 Ki 18:19, 20; 19:1, 2)