God gave power to Wwthhold rain for the good of the nation
1 And Elijah, the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there will not be dew or rain these years, but according to my word.
- This was for the good of the people to bring them back to God, the Source of life and blessing.
- The people had fallen into idolatry again.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- John 10:10 The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
2 And the word of the LORD came to him saying, 3 Go from here, turn east, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4 You shall drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there. 5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD: he went and lived by the brook Cherith that is before Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
- God protected Elijah’s life by sending him away.
- Elijah was still in his own country at this time.
8 And the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 Get up, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain you. 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering sticks: and he called to her and said, Please bring me a little water in a jar so that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to bring it he called to her and said, Please bring also a bit of bread in your hand. 12 And she said, As the LORD your God lives, I do not have a cake, but only handful of meal in a pitcher, and a little oil in a cruse: and behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son so that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said to her, Do not fear; go and do as you have said: but first make me a little cake of it, and bring it to me, and afterward, make for you and for your son. 14 For the LORD God of Israel says. The barrel of meal will not be finished or the cruse of oil lack, until the day that the LORD gives rain on the earth.
- God gave them a promise to sustain their hearts and a miracleto sustain their bodies.
- God sent Elijah to a poor widow to build something more precious than gold.
- Zidon was not in Israel. God sent him out of his own country.
- The king was searching for him to kill him.
- To use the very last she had, to give to a stranger, was an act of faith in what God’s word through Elijah promised.
- 1Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
- Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is any thing too hard for me?
15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, ate many days. 16 And the barrel of meal was not finished, or the cruse of oil lack, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Elijah. 17 And after these things, the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; his sickness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to call my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?
- The woman had seen God’s faithfulness for ‘many days.’
- Yet she didn’t trust God with her son’s illness.
- She thought God was punishing her for past sins.
- When we confessed a sin, God forgets it. We must also forget.
- Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
- 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
19 And he said to her, Give me your son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he stayed, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the LORD and said, O LORD my God, have you also brought evil on the widow with whom I stay, by killing her son? 21 And he stretched himself on the child three times, and cried to the LORD and said, O LORD my God, I beg you, let this child’s soul come into him again.
He heard Elijah’s prayer and restored life to the child
22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother: and Elijah said, See, your son lives. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.
- God convinced the woman that He spoke His truth through Elijah by this miracle.
- The miracles of Jesus were for the same reason.
- John 17:17 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
- Psalm 57:10 For your mercy is great unto the heavens, and your truth unto the clouds.
- John 11:25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet he will live:
1 Kings 18
God sent Elijah to confront Ahab about his evil
1 After many days the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year saying, Go show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain on the earth. 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was a severe in Samaria. 3 And Ahab called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: 4 For when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets, and hid them by fifties in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5 And Ahab said to Obadiah, Go into the land, to all fountains of water, and to all brooks: perhaps we may find enough grass to keep the horses and mules alive so that we not lose all the animals.
- Withholding the rain and bringing rain was to show Ahab and the people who controls all things.
6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. 7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Are you my lord Elijah? 8 And he answered him, I am: go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 9 And he said, What have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they did not find you. 11 And now you say, Go tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 12 As soon as I am gone from you, the Spirit of the LORD will carry you where I do not know; so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me: but I, your servant, have feared the LORD from my youth. 13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the LORD, how I hid a hundred men of the LORD’s prophets by fifties in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, Go tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here: he will kill me.
- Obadiah had reason to fear. But God was in control.
15 And Elijah said, As the LORD of armies lives, before whom I stand, I will definitely show myself to him today. 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
- ‘Lord of the armies’ reminded Obadiah of God’s countless armies of angels protecting him.
17 And when Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, Are you he that troubles Israel? 18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father’s house, since you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and you have followed Baalim. 19 Now send and gather all Israel to me at mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal, and the 400 prophets of the groves, who eat at Jezebel’s table.
- Ahab blamed Elijah instead of himself. 850 false prophets led the nation into ruin because they believed the lies of evil.
- The false religions brought indulgence and pleasure under a guise of worship.
- They omitted the true God our Maker, human responsibility, and accountability.
- Romans 14:12 So then every one of us will give account of himself to God.
20 So Ahab sent to all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together to mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came to all the people and said, How long will you hop between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 22 Then said Elijah to the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
- Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise up a Prophet from among their brothers, like you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he will speak to them all that I command him. 19 And it will come to pass, that whoever will not listen to my words that he speaks in my name, I will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name, that I have not commanded him to speak, or that speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet will die.
- Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.
- Deuteronomy 18:22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you are not to be afraid of him.
23 Let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves, cut it in pieces, lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other ox, lay it on wood, and put no fire under: 24 You call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answers by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
- Deuteronomy 4:24 the LORD your God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
25 And Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, Choose one ox for yourselves, and prepare it first; for you are many; call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under it. 26 And they took the ox that was given to them, they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped on the altar that was made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them and said, Cry louder: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or perhaps he sleeps, and must be awakened. 28 And they cried louder, and cut themselves with knives and lancets as was their custom, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, but there was no voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
- The demon-possessed man in Mark 5 was always cutting himself.
- The LORD does not require that we cut ourselves to get His attention.
- That is cruel and evil.
30 And 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 was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel will be your name: 32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench around the altar, the size that would contain two measures of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water. 36 And at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of 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.
- The altar was the place to approach God.
- God began this in Genesis 3 when man fell and he made man coats of skins to cover his nakedness.
- God is holy and man was no longer acceptable in God’s presence because man had become sinful.
- The animal sacrifice was a vivid picture for man of God’s promise to send a Savior to take away man’s sin so that man could again dwell in God’s presence where there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
- John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the LORD God; He turns hearts back to Him
37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that you are the LORD God, and that you have turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. 40 And Elijah said to them, Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape. And they seized them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there.
- God answered immediately.
- He is the true God, the only God.
- All the rest are thieves and liars (John 10:8) stealing life and joy: leading to eternal death. Death was God’s sentence for false prophets.
- Deuteronomy 18:20 But the prophet, who presumes to speak a word in my name, that I have not commanded him to speak, or that speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet will die.
- Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, Get up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he threw himself down on the earth, and put his face between his knees, 43 and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again, seven times. 44 And at the seventh time, he said, Behold, a little cloud is rising out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go, say to Ahab, Prepare your chariot; get down, so the heavy rain won’t stop you. 45 Meanwhile the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and outran Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
- James 5:17 Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
1 Kings 19
1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying, Let the gods kill me, if I do not kill you by this time tomorrow. 3 And he was afraid, he got up and ran for his life; and he came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
- God holds power over life and death, not Jezebel.
- John 19:11 Jesus answered, You could have no power at all against me, unless it were given to you from above…
- Revelation 1:18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
God sent an angel to help Elijah
5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, Get up and eat. 6 And he looked, and behold, a cake baked on the coals, and a jar of water was at his pillow. And he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, touched him, and said, Get up and eat because the journey is too great for you. 8 And he got up, ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights, to Horeb, the mount of God.
- ‘The angel of the LORD’ was often Jesus Christ himself.
- The food the angel gave Elijah provided enough nourishment for 40 days and 40 nights.
- Matthew 4:11 Then the devil left him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
9 And he came into a cave there and lodged; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, What are you doing here, Elijah? 10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword; I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
- A national revival was taking place.
- God had brought that about through Elijah.
- God’s mighty armies are with us.
- The word ‘hosts’ in the Bible means armies.
- God is the commander of all countless armies of angels in heaven.
- Jacob encountered the camp of the armies of God as he went to meet his brother, Esau, who had sworn to kill him.
- Elisha prayed for his servant to see God’s army.
- 2Kings 6:16 And he answered, Do not fear: for they that are with us are more than they that are with them. 17 And Elisha prayed and said, LORD, Please, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
The LORD passed by
11 And he said, Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD. And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke the rocks in pieces 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: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
- We must be quiet to hear a still, small voice.
- Still, small voice’ would be more accurately translated the voice of atomic silence.
- It is all-powerful.
- God spoke creation into existence (Psalm 33:6, 9, Genesis 1).
- He is present everywhere (Psalm 139:8-10).
- Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being…
13 And when Elijah heard it he wrapped his face in his mantle, went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, What are you doing here, Elijah? 14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children 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. 15 And the LORD said to him, Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when you come, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 16 anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Israel: and anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah to be prophet in your place. 17 And he that escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill: and he that escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill.
- God sent Elijah to anoint the new leaders.
- Remember that God only destroys evil.
- The people are ready to be led in a way that follows God.
- Daniel 2:21 he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets up kings: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
- 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.
18 Yet I have reserved for myself seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.
- God kept seven thousand for Himself.
- Elijah had said, I alone am left.
- Elijah didn’t see what God saw.
- God looks on the heart.
- 1Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, Do not look on his outward appearance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.
19 So he left there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and threw his mantle on him. 20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you. And he said to him, Go back again: for what have I done to you? 21 And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, killed them, boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, gave to the people, and they ate. Then he got up, went after Elijah, and ministered to him.
- In Matthew 8, when Jesus called the young man to follow him.
- The young man said, Let me first go bury my father.
- The Greek grammar of that sentence shows that the father wasn’t dead yet.
- Elishah was just going to say goodbye.
- Elisha burned his bridges.
- Had a party, and then went with Elijah.
SUMMARY: I Kings 17-19
- The LORD gave power to withhold the rain for the nations good
- He heard Elijah's prayer and restored life to a dead child
- He sent Elijah to confront Ahab
- He is the LORD who controls all things
- He turns hearts back to Him
- He sent an angel to help Elijah
- He showed His power and His still small voice