Summary: Elijah asked to die and God did not even answer him
“Unanswered Pray When Discouraged”
Who is Elijah?
The name Elijah means “Yahweh is my God.”
The two words rendered “Tishbite” and “inhabitant” are in the original “exactly alike.”
The meaning seems to be “Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbi of Gilead.”
Of Tishbi in Gilead there is no further trace in Scripture.
In forming to ourselves a conception of the great Israelite prophet, we must always bear in mind that the wild and mountainous Gilead, which bordered on Arabia, and was half Arab in customs, was the country wherein he grew up.
Probably he had dwelt at Thishbe or Thesbeh, a town or region on the other side Jordan, either of the tribe of Gad, or that half tribe of Manasseh which inhabited Gilead.
Whether he was a native of either of those tribes is uncertain.
He was doubtless raised up by God’s special providence.
Elijah seems to have been naturally of a rough spirit, and certainly he was called to rough services.
Of King Ahab we read 1 Kings 16:30 “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.”
Vs. 33 “And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.”
The entrance of Elijah comes with a Word from God.
1Kings 17:1 “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”
Drought was one of the punishments threatened by the Law, if Israel forsook Yahweh and turned after other gods (Deu. 11:17; Deu. 28:23; Lev. 26:19,).
1. The Source of Elijah’s Strength
1 Kings 17:1b “…As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand,…”
Elijah started his work right.
2. God’s Care For God’s Man
a. It seems that Elijah is a man familiar with the wilderness.
b. The food God sends is not always permanent.
The drought effected the just as well as the unjust.
c. God’s care may include others
2. Elijah Obeys The Word Of The LORD
Doing what God directs will NOT keep us from confrontation.
4. Elijah Stands Alone?
I don’t think so.
1Kings 18:3-4 “And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: 4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)”
How many times do we see the battle we are in as a lonely fight?
“I am the only one that is doing the right thing.”
“I alone do all the work.”
“I am so tired because I do all the work.”
5. Victory Is In The Hand Of God Alone
The prophets of Baal took the challenge because they had called fire down before; this was going to be easy.
No challenge could be fairer, for Baal was the Sun-god; and what god could be more likely to answer by fire from that blazing sky?
Vs. 30-36 Elijah prepares the alter
a. Repaired the stones vs. 30
b. Put the wood in order vs. 33
c. Put water on the wood and around the alter 3 times vs 33-34
Elijah prays: vs. 36-37
Victory over God’s enemies. Vs. 38-40
Now we come to our study for today…
I. Defeat In The Shadow Of Victory
1. Elijah listed to his heart and did not to God. Vs. 2
Jezebel was not present herself on Mount Carmel.
The fire from heaven she looked upon as a mere conjurer’s trick.
The rain following the prophet’s prayer was a mere coincidence, and, like all others who speak so smoothly of coincidences, she never asked what power had made the two events coincide.
In a passionate fury she declared that she was no turncoat to forsake the gods of her father’s at the bidding of a wilderness prophet.
If no one else had the courage to withstand Elijah, she would do it herself.
So the letter was sent which made the prophet flee.
Are we not all in danger of repeating Elijah’s mistake, and forgetting our chief adversary?
2. Elijah Ran instead of standing with the help of God Vs. 3
3. Elijah left his servant Vs. 3
And after this Elijah was not left without a congenial friend and companion.
II. The Prayer Of Many Who Fight For The Lord.