Summary: There are times when we are afraid • When circumstances appear hopeless. • When there seems to be no way out.

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Pastor Allan Kircher

Shell Point Baptist Church

July 7, 2013

1 Kings 17:8-16

What’s in your barrel?

Intro: story/prophet Elijah/fascinating account/power/God/action.

• We thrill/hear/Elijah standing tall before King Ahab

• The priest of Baal and wayward people of Israel.

• How he prayed and the fire of God fell from Heaven.

Let me remind you/some/events/special day on Mt. Carmel.

• Nation/Israel had turned their backs on the Lord.

• They followed the god Baal

• The deity worshipped by King Ahab’s Queen, Jezebel.

• Mt. Carmel, Elijah challenged/450 priests/Baal/showdown

Elijah said, call on your god, I’ll call on the name of the Lord.

• God/answered by fire would be/God /Israel.

• The people/king/priests of Baal agreed.

• The showdown commenced.

• Priests of Baal prayed all day/nothing happened.

• Baal did not answer. No fire fell.

• Priests of Baal gave up in frustration.

• It was Elijah’s turn to call on the Lord God Almighty.


In preparation for his prayer Elijah:

• gave a command/trench/dug around/altar

• Twelve barrels water/poured over/sacrifice/wood/the altar.

When this was done, Elijah stepped up, prayed a short prayer, and the fire of God fell on the mountain.

1 Kings 18:38-39 says, “Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.” “When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”

Elijah/seized/priests/Baal/brook/Kishon/killed all 450 of them.

• This was a mighty display of the power of God.

• Elijah was the conduit through which power flowed that day.

• He was God’s man, doing God’s work, in a big way.

But, it wasn’t always that way!

• Elijah did not just wake up that morning and head to that mountain to do what he did.

• Elijah wound up on that mountain because he had been prepared through a series of hopeless situations.

Again and again

• God placed/prophet/circumstances/were beyond his power.

• God proved/He/greater than everything Elijah was called on to face.

Notice how God worked in Elijah’s life.

• God called Elijah/stand before Ahab

• Pronounce a sentence/divine judgment on/nation of Israel.

• Elijah’s message/not rain until he said it would.

• And it didn’t!

God then sent Elijah to dwell beside an isolated stream in the wilderness.

• At that stream, God fed Elijah every morning and night with bread and meat carried to him on the wings of ravens.

• When the brook went dry

• from the very lack of rain Elijah prophesied

• God sent Elijah/place called Zarephath/be fed/home/widow.

• While there, God sent them a miraculous supply of food.

• While he was there the widow’s son died.

• God used Elijah to raise the dead boy back to life.

All of those things, and more, helped prepare Elijah for the day when he would stand/power/God/pray/fire down from Heaven.

• When I think of these things, it stirs my heart.

• I praise/Lord/what He did/life of Elijah

• How He trained him and used him in a special way.

I want/preach about/poor widow who got caught up/Elijah’s training

Poverty stricken widow found herself/couple/hopeless situations.

• Study one of those Hopeless Cases today.

• Preach about What’s in your Barrel?

As I do, I want you to see that God is able to do amazing, powerful things in our lives.

• He can take what appears/hopeless situation

• manifest its power through that situation it.

• There is hope for your Hopeless Case today.

• Consider the facts of this story/teach that very truth today.


• V10 introduces us/poor widow. She/focus/passage.

• Her description shows us just how hopeless her situation was.

• “Widow” meant in Society….Law….

• As you read her words in verse 12, you can hear the desperation in her voice. Listen……

• She is in a hopeless situation, and in her mind, there is no way out.


Her Plan In Life - Her plan is simple.

• Take two sticks/last of her food

• Going to make a meal for her/son then die….

• They/reached the end/line. Death/only ending she can see.

• This is a woman without hope/Who sees no way out

• Who is ready to embrace death for herself and for her son because there is no other alternative?

• This is about as hopeless as it gets.

Most of us have never faced a situation quite like this have we?


We all experience circumstances/appear to us to be hopeless.

Might be:

• Sickness/body/continues to deteriorate.

• Fracture/marriage appears to be getting worse.

• Financial crisis that grows worse day by day.

• Case of ever-deepening depression that fills the heart

It might be any of ten thousand other things, but the fact is, there are times when life appears to be hopeless.

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