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Elijah on the Mountain

Ravens bring bread to Elijah

Application:

With God anything is possible!

Text:

1 Kings 18.

 

Elijah on Mount Carmel:

It had now been three years since it had rained in the land of Israel, and the people were becoming scared.  It was then that God told Elijah to go and show himself to King Ahab.  He did this, and Ahab of course was very angry with the prophet, because he blamed him for the lack of rain.  But Elijah made it plain to the king that the cause of all the drought was his own wickedness in allowing his wife to introduce the worship of the false god, Baal.

Then the prophet told the king what had be done.  By this time the king was willing to do anything that Elijah suggested.  Had God stopped it from raining just to make the people suffer?  (let the children respond).  No, He wanted to cause them to stop worshipping false gods.

The Priests of Baal:

All the people were then told to assemble on a mountain called Carmel.   The priests of the false god Baal were to come up the mountain as well.  There were four hundred and fifty of these priests, but Elijah was the only prophet of the true God.  Thousands of the people of Israel travelled to Mount Carmel and they made their way over the rocky trails to get as near to Elijah.

All day long they kept coming, while Elijah was preparing them for a great demonstration to prove who the true God was.  First of all he told the priests of Baal to prepare a sacrifice to their god, and then call upon him to send fire from heaven to burn the sacrifice.  Elijah said to the priests of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you.  Then call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire."

The Priests of Baal's Sacrifice:

So they took the bull given to them and prepared it.  They called on the name of Baal from morning till noon.  "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted.  But there was no response and no one answered.  And they danced around the altar they had made.

At noon Elijah mocked them.  "Shout louder!" he called, "Surely he is a god!  Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling, or he is sleeping and must be awakened!"

I'm sure that Elijah enjoyed that, don't you?  (Let the children respond).  And so the priests of Baal shouted louder and cut themselves with swords and spears as was their custom until their blood flowed.  Midday passed, and they continued their frantic dancing and prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice.  But there was no response, no one answered, and no one paid any attention to them!

Elijah's Sacrifice:

Finally, the evening drew near and the people gathered where they could see Elijah, and see what the true God would do.  Elijah rebuilt the altar which had been broken down and dug a ditch all around it.  He arranged the wood and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood.  Then he told his helpers to pour water over the sacrifice and the altar.  They did this three times until the water even filled the ditch around the altar.

Elijah wanted the people to be convinced that the God of Israel was the only living and true God with power to take care of His people.  When everything was prepared to the prophet's satisfaction, he prayed to God and asked Him to accept the sacrifice that was being offered to Him, and to show that He was accepting it by causing fire to come down from Heaven and burn it up.

The End of the Priests of Baal:

Then there was a marvelous display of God's power.  Flames of fire appeared, burning not only the sacrifice, the wood and the stones, but also licking up the water that was in the ditch!  When the people saw this they gave a great shout of rejoicing that Israel's God was the only true God.  And they shouted, "The Lord is God!  The Lord is God!"

To complete the work of restoring the worship of the true God in Israel, Elijah commanded the people, "Seize the prophets of Baal.  Don't let anyone get away!"  They captured them and all the priests of Baal were put to death.

The Drought is Ended:

Then Elijah said to Ahab, "Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain."  So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and knelt down and prayed.  "Go and look toward the sea," he told his servant.  And he went and looked "There is nothing there," he said.  Seven times Elijah said to him, "Go and look."  On the seventh time the servant reported, "A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea."

So Elijah said, "Go and tell Ahab, 'Get in your chariot and go home before the rain stops you.'"  Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose and heavy rain fell.  Ahab rode off to Jezreel, but the power of God came upon Elijah and tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.  And rain fell all over the land of Israel!

Elijah's Trusts God:

Elijah was an ordinary person who made mistakes, and who was afraid sometimes, but when it really mattered he trusted God.  Elijah did amazing things with God's help and God did amazing things for Elijah.  He had many more wonderful experiences and continued to be a faithful prophet of God.

He came to the end of his life in a very unusual way.  When his work was finished he was standing one day by the side of the Jordan River, when suddenly a mighty whirlwind arose.  Then Elijah saw a chariot and horses of fire, and the whirlwind lifted him up from the earth, and he was seen no more.

And so Elijah died, but no one could find his body.  God was so pleased with Elijah that He took him straight up into Heaven in this way.

Trusting God:

Perhaps you have a special need in your life and are afraid that God cannot meet your need.  Remember, with God anything is possible!  So put your trust in God because He loves you very dearly.  He knows what is best for you and has promised to supply your needs.

God never lies and always keep His promises.  So keep your eyes and thoughts on God and praise Him for the answer to your needs!

God bless.

 

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