Summary: God's use of Elijah and how He can use you
FIRE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN
Text: I Kings 18:20-39
Introduction: What Elijah did in God's name will stand forever as a testimony of God's faithfulness to a man who will take a stand and do His will. True service to God only comes from a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Note the adjective “true.” God can do wonderful things with a man/woman who truly by faith know Him and seeks to be an instrument of God’s grace to others. I am not talking about charitable deeds done in human power, but works done through the Holy Spirit as guided by the Lord.
I. God gives us the account of Elijah as an example of a man whom God can use.
A. No one had ever shut up the rain for three years. Yet Elijah did as God directed him.
1. From nowhere he appears on the scene of God's unfolding working to bring men to himself.
2. He proclaims drought in the name of God - then goes into hiding. 1 K 17:1
3. Three years later he appears again. This time Elijah challenges the sinful King Ahab and the evil prophets who worshipped the idol Baal.
4. An altar is prepared, the first bullock was slain first by the priest of Baal. They pray/chant/cut themselves. Elijah mocked them, “Maybe Baal on a journey, talking, pursing, asleep and must be awakened.” There was not answer, and no fire.
B. Now the question is this: Will the real God answer with fire from heaven and consume the sacrifice?
1. You might ask what right did Elijah have to put God on the spot? To test God this way.
2. The answer is in v36 "I have done all these things at thy word."
3. Elijah had not concocted this event, Oh no. It was not his idea.
4. Look at the Scrpture:17:2 The word of the Lord came unto him, saying:
V8 The word of the Lord came unto him saying. Get thee to Zarephath. God sent him to a Syro-Phoenician woman, a Gentile. V10-12 Elijah ask her to give him a drink and bread.
She only had a handful of meal in a barrel and a little oil. She said it was the last she had so she was gathering sticks for a fire to cook the bread and then she and her son would die.
Elijah told her in V13 to first give the cake to him and then to her and her son. Elijah made her a promise in God’s name that the meal and oil would continue to be found in the barrel.
V14 ..thus saith the Lord God of Israel.
V16 ..neither did to cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord.
V17 Her son falls sick and dies. Elijah prayed to God and the boy came back to life.
V24...What was the result? “And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.’ (1 Kings 17:24)
V18:1.....the word of the Lord came to Elijah.
C. Elijah did not act on his own.
1. He did as God directed him by the Word of God.
2. He went where God directed. He spoke what God said speak. He did what God said do.
3. "let it be known this day, that ...."
D. Elijah obeyed God, He let God lead him. (2)
1. 17:1 he proclaimed God's truth...He believed what God had said and acted upon it.
2. God said hide.....he hid.....where God said.
3. He was in great danger, but you see he placed himself and his fate in God’s hands.
4. Further, he accepted God's provision for him; food from ravens, water from the brook.
E. But then trouble! The brook dried up! But the problem was no problem...why? Elijah was acting on God's word.
1. Why did God allow the brook to dry up? God sent him to a widow lady in Zarephath to show of His mercy.
God wanted to bless this woman who when she heard God’s word she believed and was blessed. God wanted to use her as a witness even to us almost 3000 years later. Her faith has been a witness and influence on untold numbers of people over these many years. She didn’t know it at the time and neither did Elijah, but they obeyed God and God used them.
2. So many times we get upset then there is a bump in the road. If we are living for him, He is well aware of the bump. If it comes, He lets it...but if we are living trusting Him, it will not deter us from his will for us if we go on trusting him and being used