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6. Elijah the Prophet

October 12, 2010

Text:    I Kings 17:1-24

Outline:           I.     Elijah’s Calling                                         I Kings 17:1

                              II.    Elijah’s Concern                                      I Kings 17:2-16

                              III.  Elijah’s Confirmation                            I Kings 17:17-24

Context/Discussion/Comments:

                Elijah comes on the scene as God’s prophet-warrior against King Ahab and Jezebel to turn Israel away from idolatry and back to the Lord God Almighty.  One could say that Baal worship is now the approved national religion of Israel.  Historically speaking the time is 874-853 BC.  Jehoshaphat is now ruling Judah while Jezebel rules Ahab and Israel.

                 Elijah came from Tisbe in the area of Gilead on the east side of the Jordan River.  He goes to Ahab and proclaims that the Lord has given him power over whether Israel has rain for their crops.  This confrontation brought much anguish to Ahab and Israel and marked Elijah as an enemy.

                 The Lord protects Elijah from Ahab by hiding him in the Kerith ravine and uses ravens to feed him.  Elijah’s proclamation obviously included “no rain” so even the brook from which Elijah drank eventually dried up.  So God moves Elijah to Zerephath so a widow who lives there can give him food and drink.  The widow claims she has only enough bread and oil to prepare one meal for her and her son before they starve to death.  Elijah proclaims that if she feeds him first that the Lord God will provide them with food until it rains again.  She places her faith in Elijah’s words from the Lord and learns the Lord keeps His Word.  Later her son becomes ill and even stops breathing.  She accuses Elijah of bringing judgment upon her because of her sin.  Elijah takes the boy up to his own room and prays to God to revive the boy and let him live.  God hears Elijah’s prayer, revives the boy, and Elijah is able to return the boy alive to his mother.  The mother acknowledges that she truly believes Elijah is a man of God and his word is true.  If her faith in God had been waning due to the lack of rain, her faith is now grounded.  If Elijah was wondering whether his work for God was completed, he now has confirmation that God has even bigger plans for him.

Lessons/Applications: 

  1. Trust God.  Trust God with your calling.  Trust God to protect you.  Trust God to honor His Word.
  2. Take the Word of God seriously and repent of your sin.
  3. God calls us in faith to be bold and proclaim His Word, even to the enemies of our Lord.  Go to the enemy.  Don’t wait for them to come to you.  Confront sin and wrongdoing.  Confront in love invoking God’s Word.
  4. Proclaiming God’s Word to His enemies will make you a target.  Trust God to protect you and to provide for you.  He will hide you from the enemy so you are available for His next assignment.  Trust God, obey God, and LIVE!  Do not worry and let God manage your concerns.
  5. The most unlikely people are the most likely people to believe in the Word of God.  Ahab didn’t but the widow did.
  6. Don’t be surprised when close friends and associates wrongly accuse you and want to make you responsible for their problems.  Show compassion and take their problems to the Lord asking Him to show His kindness, love, and mercy to them personally.
  7. The greatest confirmation one can receive is to know God answers your prayers.  Keep a journal so you can have confidence He hears and answers.
  8. God’s confirmation of your faith and trust in Him comes in two forms; answered prayer and the testimony of your life revealed to and acknowledged by others.
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