11(1Kings 18) God is Alive
A. It is morning and King Ahab comes down for breakfast.
§ He sits down at the table and looks across at his wife Jezebel.
§ He sees that she has her makeup on and he knows there is trouble ahead.
§ She looks across the table: "Ahab, I have an announcement for you today."
§ "What is it, my dear?"
§ "Ahab, I'm here to tell you that your God is dead and I killed him.”
§ 800 prophets of my god Baal are on the royal payroll. And Baal is worshipped everywhere.
§ Ahab, your God is dead."
B. About that time there is a commotion at the gate of the palace.
§ Read (17:1)
§ That was a direct challenge to Baal. Baal was considered to be the storm god.
§ Just as quickly as he has walked in, he walks away.
§ He has left burning in the hearts of Ahab and Jezebel, the Lord God lives!
§ I'm here to announce to you that the Lord God is very much alive!
§ Point out 17:3 (hide thyself) and 18:1 (show thyself).
I. Privately. "Hide thyself."
§ Read James 5:17-18.
§ He was a man of like passions as we are, yet he outstripped us in one way. It says that he prayed.
§ The Bible says that he not only prayed, but that he prayed earnestly.
§ The secret of finding out whether or not God is alive is in that prayer closet as you learn to make contact with the living God by means of prayer.
A. Commonplace Experiences of Life
§ God tells Elijah, “Go to the brook Cherith. I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
§ Elijah is going to learn at the brook that God is alive in the commonplace experiences of life.
§ For the most part life is like that. Life just has its commonplace, ordinary.
§ But God provides in extraordinary ways.
§ Imagine: In the morning Elijah would get up, wash his face and beard in the brook Cherith.
§ Then he would lift his face toward heaven and say, "Oh, Lord, for that which I am about to receive, I thank you."
§ When he was getting ready for the evening meal he would say, "Oh, Lord thank you for what you are about to give me."
§ Then the ravens came again with bread and flesh. God provided in extraordinary ways.
§ The Bible tells us to pray and to thank God for our daily bread.
§ If you can't prove God is alive there, you probably can't prove God is alive anywhere.
B. Crisis Experiences of Life
§ The Bible says the brook dried up. It happens that way sometimes.
§ The job dries up and God moves you on somewhere else.
§ Every time God supplies our needs, it's a miracle. When He gives us daily bread, it's a miracle.
§ God is alive in the commonplace experiences. God is alive in the crises experiences.
C. Calamity Experiences of Life (17:17)
§ What is God going to teach Elijah here?
§ Elijah takes this little dead boy. He has a calamity on his hands. Notice what he does.
§ In verse 20 he cries unto the Lord. Basically he is saying, "Lord, why?"
§ I want you to notice something here that is very important.
§ I want you to notice that Elijah did not voice his questions before that grieving mother.
§ He voices his questions before God alone.
§ There are some calamities and some unanswered questions that come up when bad things happen.
§ But the place you carry those heartaches and those questions is into the presence of God in prayer.
§ Here is Elijah who proves that God is alive in the commonplace, in crisis and in the calamity.
II. Publicly. "Show thyself."
§ The scene is (18:17). Elijah called the troublemaker of Israel.
A. (18) Elijah is not intimidated. He says, “I'm not the troublemaker, you're the troublemaker.”
§ In one sense, Elijah was a troublemaker. He was upsetting the status quo.
§ They said about Paul, "those who have turned the world upside down are come here."
§ That wasn't literally correct. The devil had already turned the world upside down.
B. (19) The scene of Elijah on Mt. Carmel. It's one of the most dramatic scenes in the whole Bible.
§ On one side 850 prophets of Baal, dressed in robes of purple trimmed in gold.
§ On the other is one lone prophet, standing and singing, “Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him; how I've proved Him o’er & o’er.”
C. (21) We are getting ready to have a contest.
§ You are on Baal's side one moment and Jehovah's side the next - trying to serve two masters.
§ Sometimes people act like they want to serve the Lord. Other times they want to do it their way.
D. (22-25) A fair enough test. Baal was the storm God.
§ Elijah says I'm going to tilt the whole contest in your favor.
E. (27) Elijah mocked them
§ "Cry aloud, for he's a God, either he is talking, or he is pursuing (he has gone to the bathroom).
§ Or he is in a journey (maybe he has gone up to the mountains for a few days).
§ Or peradventure he sleepeth (maybe he's tired and has dozed off), and must be awaked."
F. (28)`That just stirs them up and they cry and cut themselves.
§ Blood is all over the altar. Nothing!
G. Then the Bible says that old Elijah repairs the altar of the Lord.
§ He goes down to that Mediterranean and bring up barrels of water.
§ They are pouring water all around.
H. (37) Then he prays.
§ He calls for fire out of heaven.
§ The sky crackles & the flames from heaven's stockpiles come down & consume the burnt offering.
I. (39) The people start hollering.
§ They announced that the Lord, he is God. He is alive!
§ (41) He says to Ahab, you better get off this mountain. We are fixing to have a rain!
J. (42) Then he prays again.
§ I like this. He cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.
§ He's praying. It doesn't say that he is, but that's what he is doing. He says to a servant, go look.
§ The servant goes and comes back and says, there's nothing. He says go again 7 more times.
K. (44) The 7th time he came back and says, "There arises a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand."
§ Someone has said, "Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence."
L. (45-46) Elijah publicly proves God is Alive.
§ God is alive! You can prove it privately. You can prove it publicly in your life.