Elijah & Elisha: Stories Of Hope: Week 3February 7, 2021 / Monte Wilkinson / NorthEast Christian Church
Outnumbered but Not an Underdog | 1 Kings 18:17-39
Underdog – “the competitor least likely to win or a person in adversity or in a position of inferiority”
1 Kings 18:17-18 “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.’”
1 Kings 16:30-31 “Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him.”
1 Kings 18:19 “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.”
Showdown: Idolatry verses the Almighty God.
1 Kings 18:20-21 “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.”
1 Kings 18:21b (MSG) “‘How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow him; if it’s Baal, follow him. Make up your minds!’”
You can’t have one foot in the kingdom of God and one foot in a pagan temple.
1 Kings 18:21c (MSG) “Nobody said a word; nobody made a move”.
1 Kings 18:22-24 “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.’”
1 Kings 18:25-26 “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.”
1 Kings 18:27-29 “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.”
1 Kings 18:30-35 “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 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.”
1 Kings 18:36-37 “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.’”
1 Kings 18:38-39 “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!’”
1. When you are with God the odds are always in your favor.
450 to 1
450 to 1+God
2. You cannot straddle the fence.
Revelation 3:15-16 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
3. Every follower of God has a key weapon, which is prayer.
Jeremiah 33:3 (NASB)“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know”.
When you’re a Christ follower, you can always have hope.
Hebrews 13:5b “…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”