Summary: Just like the people in Elijah’s time we have to make a choice in regards to our relationship with God. (Real People True Stories -part one)
"Elijah, What’s Your Final Answer"
For the next couple of weeks we are going to be in a series called "Real People - True Stories..." (Now, I’ve always liked true stories - whenever I watch a movie and I know it’s true - I find it more interesting...)
My goal during this mini-series is threefold: I Want;
. To try to bring to life some of the great stories in the bible
. To introduce you to some of the heroes of the faith
. To blow you away by how these stories apply to our lives...
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Romans 15:3
Today, we are going to meet Elijah in a message called, "What’s Your Final Answer..."
How good are you at making choices? Choices, are a part of everyday life. Choices are a part of the new ABC hit, "who wants to be a millionaire" -- This week on the show it was celebrity week - and I saw a little bit of the show on Tuesday night. Drew Carey was playing for a charity and had won $500,000 - and then he was asked the million dollar question...
Who was the first athlete to do the Disney commercial - "Hey you just won the super bowl - what are you going to do now, I’m going to Disney World..."
A. Doug Williams
B. Marcus Allen
C. Phil Simms
D. Joe Montana
Well, Drew Carey had a choice to make - either he was going to give his final answer or he was going have to take the money & stop - he stopped....
The first real choice I remember making, was as a 5 year old kid - I’ve told some of you this before - it was the choice between having a chocolate ice cream cone before dinner and not having one... Pretty easy choice right... But there was something that went along with the ice cream cone that make the choice a tough one - For you see, my grandad was the one taking me and my mom didn’t know about it - and the only way for my grandad to get rid of the evidence (a messy mouth) was to spit on his handkerchief and wipe my mouth... Tough choice, huh? But all I can say is I ‘really’ like ice cream...
The real story I want to tell you today takes place in I Kings Chapter 18 - it is one of the great stories of scripture... AND at it’s core it is about life’s ultimate choice.
Before we begin let’s do a little bit of background together, to set up the text....
Okay we all know King David - he was the great king of God’s people - and after David died, his son Solomon became the king... And Solomon for the most part was a pretty good king. But after Solomon died things in the kingdom of Israel got pretty bad, so bad in fact that the kingdom actually spilt in two - into a Northern & Southern Kingdom...
The event we are talking about today takes place about 60 years after that split.... And the King of the north at the time is not a good guy - His name was Ahab - now Ahab was bad enough on his own (scriptures says "he did more evil in the eyes of the lord than any before him.. 1 Kings 17:30), BUT to make matters worse, Ahab, hooked up with the wrong woman - a woman whose name was Jezebel.
And what Jezebel did, was she got Ahab - to build her temples and altars to Baal, a pagan God....
So Ahab and his not so lovely wife - led the Northern Kingdom down the road away from God....if God was worshiped at all - it was only as an after-thought.
Well, in chapter 17 God calls on a man named Elijah to become His prophet >>> this is the first mentioned of Elijah in the bible - he just kind of pops in on the scene out of nowhere - and his very first job (did you ever get a tough first assignment in a new job?) Elijah’s very first assignment was to go to the wicked King Ahab and tell him - "Okay King you’ve turned BOTH your back, and the nations back on God - well here is what the God of Israel is going to do -- for the next several years there will not be any rain in the land until I say so..."
Now, I don’t ‘really’ think that Ahab & Jezebel, at that time, were all that bothered by this nobody making such a threat...After all they were the king & Queen of a nation. "Yeah sure, whatever you say Elijah, now be gone..."