Summary: Combing 1 Kings 18 & Gen 49 this is a message showing that God is calling His people back to the altar of fire, warts and all. 1 Kings 18 shows the rebuilding of the altar, and Gen 49 shows the character of the tribes called back.
The Call to the Altar of Fire
Text: Genesis 49: 1,2
Jacob has twelve sons and he prophesies over them what it would be like for them in last days.
I believe this text can be spiritually applied to the body of Christ in the last days. The literal Hebrew is the "end of days".
I want to combine it with another text, because I think the two are related.
I have a message I have preached in many places on this text, it is entitled: The Contest on Mount Carmel; a Biblical Pattern for Revival.
In it I list 9 elements that were part of Elijahs plan to rock a nation back to God, I’m not going to preach that message today, if you are interested in reading the text of that message you can find it on Sermoncentral.Com.
Today quickly I will address 3 parts of that message, one of which I want to key in on. Those three elements of Elijah’s plan to bring his nation back to God are:
1. He prayed earnestly that it might not rain.
2. He reminded them prophetically of who and what they were to be.
3. Spiritual restoration led to financial restoration.
1. He prayed earnestly for financial ruin of his nation, as a means to their salvation. He said God do whatever it takes. It is said there are no atheists in the fox holes. The times they are a changing. Re 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. I have great concern about the day in which we live, the plagues are coming and the blasphemy is increasing. What is coming out of you in this financial plague? In a storm a child should hold his parents hand tighter. Is that what you are doing? Or is the spirit of Job’s wife attacking you? Curse God.
2. He reminded them prophetically of who and what they were to be. Talk about that in a moment.
3. Spiritual restoration led to financial restoration
Financial restoration didn’t lead to spiritual restoration, financial devastation led to spiritual restoration, which led to financial restoration, that is God’s pattern.
1Ki 18:41 Now Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a [heavy] shower." With the renewal of rain, came the renewal of crops and it was an agrarian based society, meaning the economy got rolling again.
All right now, let me get to my message:
The call to the altar of fire
Let’s look at our text in 1 Kings again.
1Ki 18:30 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me." So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD which had been torn down.
1Ki 18:31 And Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Israel shall be your name."
1Ki 18:36 Then it came about at the time of the offering of the [evening] sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, "O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word.
1Ki 18:37 "Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that Thou, O LORD, art God, and [that] Thou hast turned their heart back again."
He reminded them of their prophetic destiny. By that I mean he was telling them God had a plan for their life. Letting people know God has a plan for their life connects with that part of them that knows something is missing in their life.
God is calling people back to the altar of fire, calling us back to the first love, saying forget about the finances, forget about wars and rumors of war, press in, go into your secret closet for secret fellowship
Notice in verse 31, and 36 Elijah takes pains to call them the Israel of God. In verse 31 he calls them the Israel of God, and in verse 36 he uses the very unusual phrase the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel," (4x in scripture) instead of the more common "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." (28x in scripture)
He was reminding them of who and what they were prophetically called to be. Letting people know and helping them to connect with their destiny in God is a strong tool in evangelism. You have a purpose, a destiny, a calling. Part of which will be fulfilled in this life, the vast part of it will not.