Summary: Elijah demonstrates the rule and reign of God in his life, land and legacy.
A teacher was telling about the time their new elementary school was raising the American flag for the first time. To make the day special, they had invited a Marine Corps Color Guard to come out and perform the duty for them. The day before the ceremony, the Marine in charge of the unit called to confirm directions to the school. After doing so, he was asked by our secretary whether he was sending marines who like children.
There was a brief pause on the other end of the line before the man replied, "Ma'am, if I tell them to like children, they will like children."
APPLICATION: Marines understand authority and who is in charge. They understand who the leader is that they are to follow.
2. Today we study Elijah a great prophet of the Nation of Israel
a. One of 9 prophets to 19 Kings
b. 208 years
3. Setting is the divided kingdom in the reign of Ahab and Jezebel -- 1 Kings 18-2 Kings 2
4. Elijah -- famous for his exit from this world in "Chariots of Fire" -- as a result of understanding the kingship of God:
I. God Reigned in His Life -- James 5.16b-18
The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.17 Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.
A. Courageous Confrontation -- 1 Kings 16.29-17.7
1. Evil Actions of Ahab -- Baal; Asherah; Jericho
2. Drought -- Witness against sin
b. The baptism of Yeshua (Jesus) -- Father's voice; HS as a dove (2 witnesses; 3 if you add John)
c. God's use of Heaven and Earth -- Deuteronomy 4.26a
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day,
B. Trusting in the Trial
A western town had experienced a hard drought. One of the local churches announced a special prayer meeting one night to pray for rain. On that night, the church building was packed, but the preacher told them to go back home. There'd be no prayer meeting that night -- because no one had come expecting to have their prayers answered... NO ONE HAD BOTHERED TO BRING AN UMBRELLA. Abilene friend carried umbrella in drought -- "If you pray for rain, better carry an umbrella."
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4.19
1. Supernatural Provision -- Brook of Cherith and Ravens (17.4-6)
2. Widow of Zerephath (17.8-16) -- non-Hebrew, woman
II. God Reigned in His Land (1 Kings 18.17ff)
Christian author, C. S. Lewis wrote: "There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan."
A. Defeat of a False god
1. "Troubler of Israel"
a. Ungodly people view the godly as the problem
b. Homosexual called to challenge my position on its morality
c. Real troubler of Israel was Ahab (with Jezebel -- brought in Baal)
2. Baal and Asherah
a. Fertility cult; immoral behavior; child sacrifice
b. FHC used to have a spring festival and girls danced around the Maypole -- found out it was an imitation of the pagan practices and it ceased; Easter -- rabbits; Christmas
3. Challenge of Choice
A woman getting onto a ski lift was given instructions that the moment the lift's chair touched her backside she was to sit down and lift her feet from off the ground. Instead when the chair came against her she sat down but was nervous about the height of the lift. Her hesitation caused her to keep her feet firmly planted on the platform. (Pause) She wanted to see the magnificent view from the top of the lift, but also wanted to be firmly attached to the ground. With her feet on the platform, the seat began to wind back and then like a slingshot hurled her off the platform causing severe injury to her legs and back. Indecision is a dangerous thing. Straddling between two positions can be hazardous to your health.
a. Challenging at Baal's altar -- no response
b. Prayer to God -- Fire consumption of sacrifice and water -- 18.36-38
c. The people's response -- 18.39
1) "Elijah" (Eliyahu)
2) Killed false prophets
B. Restoration of Rain -- 18.41-46
"If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you,
how will you compete with horses?
And if in a safe land you fall down,
how will you do in the jungle of the Jordan? Jeremiah 12.5