Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals.
Ahab was so far into sin that He didn’t even see what he was doing. It was someone else’s fault, not his.
And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.
What a sad testimony. This is how he will be remembered.
Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.
choose. The people stood in non committal = not choosing is not following
Jesus told the church at Laodicia
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
There is no way around making that a good thing
Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”
a very simple test. the people agree.
note, Elijah is not the only prophet. We may feel like we are alone, but God always has a remnant.
And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)
Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.” So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.
Picture this, all day praying, leaping, dancing. Making a lot of noise and accomplishing nothing
A perfect picture of how trusting in anything but the Lord is a waste of time.
And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.
Elijah taunts them, mocking them they get more frantic
There was no voice, no one answered, because Baal was not real
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.
he calls the people near. they have seen the prophets of baal calling all day long. morning til noon til evening sacrifice. This went on all day
And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.
2 seahs = 9 bottles of water
a little over 3 gallons of water
And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
His prayer - simple and to the point
let it be known that You are God
that I am your servant
I have done what You have asked
Let the people know You are YHWH, God
Turn their hearts to you
Elijah’s prayer, as it is recorded, is a 20 second prayer in English. Even speaking slowly, it is less then a 1 minute prayer.
How would we pray? would we pray for that or for judgement?
Lord show these sinners a thing or to
Lord judge them for their sin
Consume them in your righteous anger
We can learn about ourselves by how we pray for people
God answers Elijah
Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.
It takes temperatures between 1,100 and 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit to melt a rock
Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”
The people respond to God devouring the sacrifice
And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there.
Elijah calls for the people to put their new belief into action. They are called to seize all the false prophets and execute them, and they did
There are a number of things we can learn from this passage
We could talk about following the Lord, even when we fell alone and surrounded by unbelievers, the unfaithful, the wicked
We could talk about standing strong in adversity These were wicked men. Standing on God’s word even when those around don’t
We could talk about prayer, how it doesn’t have to be complicated.
The prophets of baal went on and on all day. They made a lot of noise. They danced, they cut themselves.
We don’t need to act like that before God. We can simply talk to Him and He is capable of answering. We don’t need to get all worked up. Power doesn’t come from us getting emotional. Working ourselves into a frenzy doesn’t make the Lord answer us faster. He wants us to be real. 30 second prayer and God answered. He prayed for God’s glory.
What I want to focus on in this, is that these are the people of God.
They have set up false gods, have been going to pagan altars. They turned from the Lord and worshipped that which was false.
God still cared for them. He used Elijah to call them to repentance. He revealed Himself and they responded. They cleaned house. They removed that which ed them astray
Now, I am not saying we get violent with false teachers.
What I am saying is we remove false gods from our lives. We can allow the Baals of this world to creep into our lives.
We don’t allow the Baals of compromising churches to creep in.
We need to look at our lives and say ‘what idols are in my life lord?’ and then we need to clean house.
Yesterday I mention a worship leader who said the Holy Spirit
“is like the genie in Aladdin. And He’s Blue. He’s funny, and He’s sneaky, and He’s courageous and He is silly”
Doctrine from Disney.
The church teaches Fire tunnels, grave soaking, gold dust and angel feathers.
These are thing of Baal. As believers we should have nothing to do with them.
God wants us to be pure and holy.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Speaking of the last days
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
We are seeing things creep into the church in America that are absurd, ungodly, demonic.
Like Elijah, we need to live for the True God
we need to stand against false worship of God
We need to pray that the Lord reveals Himself to us in His word
Be watchful. Be diligent, don’t be led astray by tickling of the ears and glitter that pleases the eyes and emotions.
Test all things; hold fast what is good.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.