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Fight 3 Getting in the Ring

Notes & Transcripts

“GETTING IN THE RING”

Text

1 Kings 18:17-40 New International Version (NIV)

17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of

Israel?”

18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your

father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and

have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel

to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty

prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at

Jezebel’s table.”

20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets

on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long

will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him;

but if Baal is God, follow him.”

But the people said nothing.

22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets

left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for

us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it

into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare

the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you

call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord.

The god who answers by fire—he is God.”

Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and

prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of

your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them

and prepared it.

Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal,

answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered.

And they danced around the altar they had made.

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely

he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe

he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and

slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until

their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic

prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no

response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to

him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down.

31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from

Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name

shall be Israel.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the

Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of

seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the

wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it

on the offering and on the wood.”

34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.

“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The

water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and

prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known

today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have

done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me,

so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are

turning their hearts back again.”

38 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.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The

Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”

40 Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let

anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down

to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.

Biblical Geography

 Boundary between Israel and Phoenicia

 Sacred site

 Mountain range stretches 30 miles from the outcropping into the Mediterranean southeast

toward Megiddo and stands at the NW end of the Valley of Jezreel.

 Most likely at the base of the mountain as this was where most worship was done looking

up.

 530M/1600ft up!

 ‘Garden land’ or fruitful land’ >> during drought, this is a pivotal and providential spot for

this battle to happen here.

 Elijah walks up to offer his prayer for rain. (v42)

Exegesis & Commentary

Elijah got into the Ring!

1. Elijah was not a Spiritual Wimp!

At the beginning of the whole story even before this whole display of power, Elijah was a man of

God that didn’t back down from a fight.

Elijah knew who he was fighting for: Israel

Elijah never lost sight or focus on that! Did he lose heart and sometimes become frightened and

scared for his life? Yes. BUT Elijah never lost the fight for His heart… the fight For the LORD.

Israel.

Elijah’s name means “The LORD is my God”. It was like saying that even my name gives me away.

ILLUS #1>>

Before I was huge into hockey like in college and even now, how I love local hockey… I remember

cheering for both teams one night at my friend’s house. Darryl looked at me and said “Grab a

spine, Pick a team and Get in the Game!!”

ILLUS #2>>

How many times have you seen those fans where they are dressed in and painted on their team

colors? You have no need to ask them who they are fans of do you?

Contemporary Application #1

As a Disciple of Jesus, do others know? Would people around you see you as a “trouble maker”?

Elijah was labeled as one… for all that he had said and done! Are you a holy trouble maker? If not,

why not?

2. Elijah was not a Spiritual Mute

In vs 18 we see as in many verses through his story, Elijah speaking boldly the Truth!

Elijah:

a. Refutes the label!

i. Ahab calls him something that is not truth. He judges him in a public

setting. He bullies him outright with that statement.

ii. Elijah refutes and rebukes that comment.

iii. Do you? When someone calls you something that isn’t true, do you speak

up or do you stay mute?

b. Responds with truth and accuracy

i. Elijah flips it on Ahab and calls him to accountability for not only him but

his whole family.

ii. Elijah speaks and reveals the actual facts! No hearsay or gossip needed!

Ahab has abandoned his faith and has sinned by worshipping false gods,

most specifically the Baals

Elijah speaks the truth in LOVE and Conviction. He has known Ahab for many years and now, it is

time to speak! Enough is enough…

Elijah acts like in the character of God very gracious and merciful but now, it is time to say what

is needed!

Contemporary Application #2

Elijah speaks the truth… in Love

Ephesians 4:11-16 New International Version (NIV)

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the

pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that

the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith

and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining

to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the

waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the

cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead,

speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the

mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the

whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament,

grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

We are called to be accountable first with each other as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and

also give an account and defense for our faith to all those around us.

Like Elijah, we need to do it boldly and with clarity. Not mixing words or metaphors but simply

and plainly.

Elijah doesn’t say his rebuke with pride or arrogance but with humility and grace.

3. Elijah was not a Spiritual Coward

Vs 36a

“AT THE TIME OF SACRIFICE, THE PROPHET ELIJAH

STEPPED FORWARD AND PRAYED:”

Defined in Oxford dictionary:

Defy, encounter with courage

Elijah, empowered and led by Yahweh, was BRAVE

Elijah at the right time:

a. Stepped forward

i. Elijah still had to physically act. He stepped forward. He did not shift the

responsibility to someone else. He did not outsource it.

ii. Elijah knew it was the right time because he had a strong and intimate

relationship with Yahweh.

iii. Elijah was brave in the midst of great anxiety and mixed emotions. All the

people looking at him…

iv. Are we acting? When everyone is looking at you? Are you under the

microscope from other Christians and unbelievers? Of Course you are!

v. Will you act? ILLUS. >> my geology class and learning paleo-geology and the

talk went Creation!

b. Elijah prayed

i. Elijah didn’t skirt the issue. He went straight to God and not himself. He

prayed to God.

ii. In those moments that we are to speak and act, is it prefaced with prayer?

iii. How many times have you heard that small but inviting voice of the Holy

Spirit prompting you to speak and or act in a way that is providential and or

divinely set up?

Challenges

This is a great story! Are we challenged to fight?

1 TIMOTHY 6:12 NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)

12 FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF THE FAITH. TAKE HOLD OF

THE ETERNAL LIFE TO WHICH YOU WERE CALLED WHEN

YOU MADE YOUR GOOD CONFESSION IN THE PRESENCE OF

MANY WITNESSES.

Know that there are people always watching but there’s an invitation and encouragement here…

You are called as people of the Cross, those that will go to heaven. Take on this Fight...

 Know what you are Fighting for

 Spend time training and preparing for this Fight

 Step forward, knowing He has led you, Get into the Ring!

Will it get bloody? Yes

Will I get hurt? Yes

Will I have the strength to carry on? Yes

Be Brave! Hold strong on to Jesus. He loves you and he gives you the courage to go another

Round.

For His Glory and For His Kingdom come!

Amen.

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