Sound Of Rain (I Kings[18]41-46)

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The Sound of Rain

Date preached: Aug 13, 1995

Place preached: Victory Baptist Church (Langley)

Today's Date: (10/02/07)

Text:  I Kings 17-18

Read I Kings 17:1; 18:1; 18:41-46 & James 5:16B-18

 

Introduction:  When I lived on the west coast I didn’t often appreciate the rain as I should, but every prairie farmer knows it's value.  During a dry spell there is anticipation for the coming rain.  It becomes a matter of worry for some and prayer for others.  When at long last the rain comes there is great rejoicing.

 

Rain in the Bible often speaks of spiritual refreshing.

 

God's Word is like Rain.

 

Deut. 32:1-3 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

 

Isa. 55:10-11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

 

Physical Rain given in response to Revival.

 

Lev. 26:3-4 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;

4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

 

II Chron. 6:26-27 When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;

27 Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.

 

Rain speaks of the Lord's Return.

 

Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

 

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

 

Thunder and Lightning are deceivers when not followed by rain.

 

Prov. 25:14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

 

II Tim. 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

 

 

NO RAIN

The story is told about an old American Indian who attended a church service one Sunday morning.  The preacher's message lacked real spiritual food, so he did a lot of shouting and pulpit pounding to cover up his lack of preparation.  In fact, as it is sometimes said, he "preached up quite a storm."  After the service, someone asked the Indian, who was a Christian, what he thought of the minister's message.  Thinking for a moment, he summed up his opinion in six words: "High wind. Big thunder. No rain."  Yes, when the Scriptures are neglected, there is "no rain."  Only when preaching is based on God's Word are His people blessed and refreshed.

 

We are in desperate need of spiritual rain today!!

 

There are some prerequisites to spiritual rain that we find in the life of Elijah.

 

Elijah

 

Truly, one of God's outstanding men of the OT. 

 

His ministry in Israel was during a time of unparalleled wickedness. 

 

He vehemently opposed the evil of Ahab and Jezebel.

 

Here was a man unafraid to speak out, here was a man who challenged the evil-workers of his time, here was a man of prayer.

 

Elijah's life marks the beginning of an era of miracles performed through him and his successor Elisha.

 

Scripture references: I Kings 17-19; 21; II Kings 1-3; 9:36; 10;

I Chronicles 8:27; II Chronicles 21:12; Ezra 10:21; Malachi 4:5; Matthew 11:14; 16:14; 17:1-12; 27:47-49; Mark 6:15; 8:28;

Mark 9:1-13; 15:35-36; Luke 1:17; 4:25-26; 9:8,19,30,33,54; John 1:21 & 25; Romans 11:2; James 5:16-18

 

Meaning of name: God of Jehovah (My God of Power and Strength)

 

I. Calibration(meaning?) of Power

 

Demonstrated by three commands of God.

 

A. Preparation Vs.3

 

"Hide" Our time with God

 

The drought.  I Kings 17

 

       The drought God promised and Elijah prophesied of came as a result of prayer.  The end of the drought was also in answer to Elijah's prayer   James 5:16-18

 

       During the famine, God miraculously provided for Elijah's needs.

 

       By the Brook Cherith.  I Kings 17:2-7

 

Elijah stayed in this place of hiding until God gave him further instructions.  Elijah knew what it was to wait on the Lord.

 

We do not wait on the Lord anymore.  We are too busy!

 

Matt. 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

 

B. Presentation Vs.9

 

"Arise" This is the place of making ourselves available to God.

 

       Through the widow at Zarephath (meaning: a workshop for refining metal).      I Kings 17:8-24

 

 Two miracles were performed here.

 

       The replenished barrel of meal and cruise of oil.  vs.14-16

 

       The widow's son raised from the dead.  vs.17-24

 

Samuel

 

I Sam. 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

 

Isaiah

 

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

 

C. Power Ch. 18:1

 

"Go" God's power demonstrated before the lost.

 

The confrontation at Mount Carmel.  I Kings 18

 

       Toward the end of the drought Elijah was instucted by God to meet with King Ahab.  I Kings 18:1-2

 

       Elijah meets up with Ahab's servant Obadiah.  I Kings 18:3-16

 

       Elijah confronts Ahab and challenges his wicked priests of Baal.  I Kings 18:17-20

 

       Elijah challenged Israel to serve the true God.  vs.21

 

       The Challenge:  Let Him be God who answers by fire.  vs.22-24

 

       Baal fails the test.  vs.25-29

 

       The God of Israel anwers by fire.  vs.30-38

 

       The people of Israel worshipped God.  vs.39

 

       Elijah instructed them to slay the prophets of Baal and make the victory complete. vs.40

 

       Elijah prayed.  vs.42

 

       Elijah's message to Ahab, "There is a sound of abundance of rain."  vs.41-46

 

II. Character of Personality

 

Measured by the opportunities he took advantage of.

Major events in Elijah's life:

 

1). Cherith 3747 K@riyth {ker-eeth'}

from 3772; TWOT - omitted; n pr

 

Cherith = "cutting"

 the brook where Elijah was hidden during a drought; east of Jordan

 

2). Zarephath 6886 Tsar@phath {tsaq-ref-ath'}

from 6884; TWOT - omitted; n pr loc

 

Zarephath = "refinery" or workshop for refining metal

 a city on the coast south of Sidon and the residence of Elijah during the last part of the drought; modern 'Sura-fend'

 

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

3). Carmel 3760 Karmel {kar-mel'}

the same as 3759; TWOT - 1042; n pr loc

 

Carmel = "garden-land"

 a mountain on the Mediterranean coast of northern Israel, just below Haifa

 

 

III. Convictions and Principles

 

A. "God is Alive"  17:1 & 18:36

 

Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 

B. "I am God's Ambassador"  17:1 & 18:36

 

II Cor. 5:18-20 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

 

I Thess. 2:1-4 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:

2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

 

C. "God Answers Prayer"  17:1 & 18:36

 

James 5:16-18 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

 

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