Warning Signs | Don't Reject the Heavenly Voice, Day 4
1 Kings 18 & 19
Though God can speak to us through His might, He chooses to speak to us through His Word by the inward still small voice of the Holy Spirit.
Verse of the Day
'For our God is a consuming fire.' Hebrews 12:29 NKJV
What is a task you’ve felt or would feel ill-equipped to do on your own?
How would you most likely react in such a situation?
Ask someone for help?
Watch a YouTube video?
Press on without outside help, figuring your effort will be “good enough”
Why do we sometimes forge ahead in our own power or ability instead of asking for the help we need?
Read 1 Kings 18:21-24
And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 1 Kings 18:21-24
God will not share His glory with anyone or anything.
Read Exodus 20:5a
You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, Exodus 20:5a ESV
There is no such thing as riding the fence when it comes to serving God. You are either all in or all out, there is no gray area.
Though Israel did not totally reject the Lord, they were seeking to combine the worship of God with the worship of Baal. Those who choose to try to have one foot with God and one foot in the world will find themselves influenced by the world and turn their backs on God.
Read Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24 ESV
Read 1 Corinthians 10:21
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 1 Corinthians 10:21 ESV
Read Revelations 3:15-16
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16 ESV
The passages in 1 Kings are from the Old Testament and should not be used to justify testing the Lord during our time. Elijah was a prophet of the Lord and had the guidance of the Lord to test the prophets of Baal specifically.
Since Baal’s followers believe that he controlled the thunder, lightning, and storms, and the Lord's followers declared the same, this would prove to be a fair test to show who was God.
Have you ever tried to focus on two different things? How did that go?
As you can see there are far more priests for the false god, how often are you influenced by the culture around us rather than by God?
What was the people's response to Elijah? What should be our response when we are called out for our divided loyalty to God?
Read 1 Kings 18:30-39
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been thrown down. Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs [7 quarts or 7.3 liters] of seed. And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And 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. And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water. And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” 1 Kings 18:30-39
Why is Elijah having to repair the altar?
In this time of deep apostasy, all of God's altars have been broken - down not by external enemies, but by his own people of Israel.
The 12 stones represented the 12 tribes, since this contrast had significance for both Judah and Israel. Although the tribes had been divided into two nations, they were still one people in the Lord's plans, and with the same covenants and a single destiny.
What was the significance of pouring water on the altar? Why so many times?
Note that this made 12 barrels of water to be poured out on the 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
Elijah used an abundance of water in this exercise, which might be resented in such a time of extreme drought, except for the fact that Mount Carmel is very near the sea coast, from which an inexhaustible supply of ocean water could be transported for soaking the altar.s
Notice that there was so much water that it ran down into a trench around the altar.
To what extent did God display His power?
What was the purpose of the miracle found in verse 38 (mentioned below)?
Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” 1 Kings 18:38-39 ESV
After the showdown between the Lord and the prophets of Baal the people declared the Lord He is God. All of the prophets of Baal were slain so that they would not lead the people astray.
Read 1 Kings 19:1 -8
Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
Have you ever gone from a spiritual high to feeling desperately low? 1 Kings 19:1 -8
He was afraid, his hope shattered, Elijah fled as a prophet, broken by Jezebel's threat, her unrepentant Baalism, and her continuing power over Israel. Elijah expected Jezebel to surrender; when she did not capitulate, he became a discouraged man.
Why did Elijah make the statement to the Lord, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life?”
Since Israelites believed that suicide was in affront to the Lord, it was not an option, whatever the distress. So Elijah asked the Lord for death because he viewed the situation as hopeless, Moses (Num 11:10-15) and Jeremiah (Jer 20:14-18) had also reacted in similar fashion during their ministries.
Though Elijah experienced many miracles from the Lord at times he was so nearsighted that he couldn't see past his own shortcomings.
Who is the Angel of the Lord and what does that mean for our verses?
Angel of the Lord: The special form in which God manifested Himself to man, and hence Christ's visible form before the incarnation (Smith’s Bible Dictionary)
Any time the angel of the Lord is mentioned in the old testament it is a representation of the preincarnate Christ. One place this is easily seen is in Judges 6:21-24
Then the angel of the LORD reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight. Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the LORD. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” But the LORD said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and called it, The LORD Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
God displays His power in what ways during Elijah’s 40 day trip to Horeb?
As at Cherith and Zarephath (1 Kings 17:6, 19) God provided food and drink for Elijah in the midst of his distress and the surrounding famine.
Elijah's trip took over double the time it should have taken. Therefore, the period had symbolic meaning as well as showing literal time. As the people of Israel had a notable spiritual failure and so wandered 40 years in the wilderness, so a discouraged Elijah was to spend 40 days in the desert. As Moses had spent 40 days on the mountain without bread and water, sustained only by God as he awaited a new phase of service, so Elijah was to spend 40 days depending on God's enablement as he prepared for a new commission from the Lord. As Moses had seen the presence of God, so Elijah experienced a manifestation of God. Horeb is an alternate name for Mount Sinai.
Read Matthew 4:1-4
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-4
Read 1 Kings 19:9-13
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9-13
What was Elijah doing in the cave?
What is the purpose of God manifesting the weather events?
And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:12 KJV
What was God’s answer to Elijah’s statement?
The three phenomena, wind, earthquake, and fire, announce the imminent arrival of the Lord. The Lord's self revelation to Elijah came in a faint, whispering voice. The lesson for Elijah was the Almighty God was quietly, sometimes imperceptibly, doing His work in Israel.
Read 1 Kings 19:18-19
Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. 1 Kings 19:18-19
Was Elijah correct in assuming he was the only one left serving the Lord?
What was the significance of the 12 yoke of oxen with Elisha?
Twelve yoke of oxen, or (as Ewald renders it) of land, indicate some wealth in Elisha’s family, which he has to leave to follow the wandering life of Elijah. The character and mission of Elisha will appear hereafter: but the contrast between the prophets is marked in the difference of their home and origin; even the quiet simplicity of Elisha’s call stands contrasted with the sudden, mysterious appearance of Elijah. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
What was the significance of Elijah casting his cloak on Elisha?
Verse 19 introduces Elisha as Elijah's successor, and also Jehu and Hazel, the next Kings of Israel and Syria. All of these were, in effect, to be anointed to their callings by Elijah, although Hazel was actually anointed by Elijah and Jehu by Elijah's servant.
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” Exodus 4:10-13
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 1 Corinthians 1:27 ESV
How does God’s working with Elijah help you know how He speaks to us today?
Have you ever felt like your work for the Lord is finished?
How does being a mentor to someone younger in the faith help us grow to be more like God?
Thank God that He is not done with you yet. Thank Him for calling you to play a role in His kingdom purposes even now, in this time and place. Thank Him for His unlimited supply of power available to you as you abide in Jesus Christ and rely on the Holy Spirit. Invite Him to use you like Elijah so that people will trust and know that your successes came by His Name and in His power.