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Elijah - the Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness

Five Great Men of the OT  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Elijah represents all prophets and foreshadows the coming of John the Baptist

Notes & Transcripts
Intro: As we conclude our series on five great men of the Old Testament, we come to the prophet who represents all prophets – Elijah. There are other significant prophets – Samuel, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel all come to mind, but Elijah stands above the crowd in significance to us for two reasons. First is the manner in which he leaves the physical realm – – and second is that he was with Jesus when He was transfigured – .
2 Kings 2:9–12 ESV
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
2 Kings 2:10–12 ESV
And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
2 Kings 2:9–12 ESV
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
2 Kings 2:9–12 ESV
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
2 Kings 2:9–12 ESV
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
Matthew 17:1–3 ESV
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
Matthew 17:1–3 ESV
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
Matthew 17:1–3 ESV
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
2 Kings 2:9–12 ESV
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
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2 Kings 2:9–12 ESV
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
Intro: As we conclude our series on five great men of the Old Testament, we come to the prophet who represents all prophets – Elijah. There are other significant prophets – Samuel, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel all come to mind, but Elijah stands above the crowd in significance to us for two reasons. First is the manner in which he leaves the physical realm – – and second is that he was with Jesus when He was transfigured – .
I) His reputation among his peers
A) He wrote no books (that are preserved in scripture), and was exceeded in length of service by several of the men mentioned above
B) Yet, as a prophet, he was peerless at a difficult time in Israel’s history – ; ; ,
A) He wrote no books (that are preserved in scripture), and was exceeded in length of service by several of the men mentioned above
B) Yet, as a prophet, he was peerless at a difficult time in Israel’s history – ; ; ,
A) He wrote no books (that are preserved in scripture), and was exceeded in length of service by several of the men mentioned above
1 Kings 18:17 ESV
When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?”
C) For three years he had disappeared to Israel – ,
B) Yet, as a prophet, he was peerless at a difficult time in Israel’s history – ; ; , 5C) For three years he had disappeared to Israel – ,
D) God raised him to be a counterpart to Ahab –
A) There are few events in which Elijah spoke to the king or the multitudes of people, with one real exception –
B) There are many time in which he was alone, or nearly so, and these events reveal the word of God in and through him – – providing food and water for Elijah (and a Gentile widow and her son – ) – raising that son from the dead (first recorded occasion) – – fleeing from Jezebel into the wilderness of Judah – – or sitting on top of a hill –
C) Even in death, he is alone, except for Elisha –
A) He has a closer connection to the Christ than any other OT prophet because he is the type for which John comes to be revealed as the antitype; ; – Isaiah and Malachi wrote about this, but he is the one whom they write about –
Isaiah 40:1–3 ESV
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Malachi 3:1 ESV
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.
Malachi 4:5–6 ESV
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
B) As such, his physical appearance is like John – ; – but so are his methods and location
C) As a forerunner to the Messiah, Elijah/John has a most important and vital role in God’s plan –
D) Elijah was never a prophet of peace, but violence against the enemies of God – ; ; , – peace is left for the Messiah to accomplish –
1 Kings 19:15–17 ESV
And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death.
Concl: It is not enough for us to simply examine Elijah without realizing why God sent him. His life was unique for his role, yet in many ways it reflects our role. We are raised by God as counterparts to the evil ways of this world. We are called to speak for God, usually in small ways, that through the power of God will change hearts – .
James 5:16–20 ESV
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
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