Click on the dove to go to Site Contents
Teaching And Research By: M. E. Arbaugh
Last Update: Sunday, 10-Sep-2017 16:39:26 EDT
Teaching And Research By:
VICTORY ON THE MOUNTAIN
1 Kings 18: 36-37 "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."
Elijah came near to the altar, even though he expected fire! He had confidence that the God He served would not hurt him. We ought to be confident of that same thing. God the Father loves us. He does not put disease and disaster on us. Study to show yourself approved. Learn to rightly divide the truth. Then you will know that if is the thief that comes to kill, steal and destroy, not God. It was our loving God who sent his Son so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. John 10:10
Elijah draws near the sacrifice and then says let it be known that You are God. Consider this mans motive. He wanted the people to be turned back to God, it wasn't glory that he wanted. In effect, he said, Father glorify Thy name. Let it be known that I am your servant and that I have done these things at Your Word. Our lives should show that we are His servant and that the things we have done are in accordance with His Word. See Mark 15:35.
1 Kings 18:38 "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".
Top to bottom, no chance that it could have been done by human hands
1 Kings 18:39 " 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!"
These people were operating on sense knowledge, they had to see it with their eyes, in order to believe it. They had a Thomas kind of faith. John 20:29
1 Kings 18:40 "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.
Here we have a contrast between law and grace. We are now under grace, no longer are we to slay those who are the prophets of evil. We are to pray for them and as the children of the living Lord, we are to drive out demons in the name of Jesus. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, (of the flesh,) They are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
1 Kings 18:41-44 Then Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain." So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; where he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." So he went up and looked, and came back to say, "There is nothing." And seven times Elijah said, "Go again." Then it came to pass the seventh time, that the servant said, "There is a cloud, as small as a man's hand, rising out of the sea!" So Elijah said, "Go up, and say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you."
God had already said, go show yourself to Ahab and I will send rain. So we might wonder why it was necessary for Elijah to pray for rain. God had already said, so why not just take care of business and forget it?
There are many instances in the Word where we are told to ask, but I will use only one. In this one God is speaking to His Son and He says, "ask of me and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession." Psalm 2. Even God the Son had to ask and even though we are heirs to the promised we must ask, and we must ask according to the Word.
Elijah believed the word of God, he acted on the word of and he persisted. He didnít give up, he expected an answer, so seven times he said go and look. Sometimes we pray, Lord, we need money, after all it says in Phil.4:19 that He will supply our needs. Then we get up from our place of asking and go call the bank. Did someone, perhaps, deposit money in our account? No, well then this faith stuff doesnít work. We gave it a try. Or perhaps we ask for removal of some discomfort and it does not become evident the moment we close our mouths and open our eyes. Aha! We say, just another example that this faith stuff doesnít work, after all we tried it two times and it didnít work. NOW HEAR THIS: The Bible does not say that the just shall try faith, it says that the just shall live by faith.
Elijah, believed God would perform His word. Notice also that Elijah recognized the answer to his prayer when it came. Sometimes we pray, help me and then fail to recognize the help when it comes. I remember hearing a story about a man who was working on a roof and lost his footing. He cried out, Lord help me, a second later his overalls caught on a nail and stopped his fall. Did he give praise to God for help? No, he called out never mind Lord, Iím caught on a nail.
The servant said, a cloud the size of a manís hand. Hold up your hand and look at it. If it had been us sitting on that mountain, we would probably wailed, God, didnít you hear me? Rain, lots of rain, one little ole cloud wonít do. Think about it, would you have looked at the circumstances, or would you have kept your eyes zeroed in on the God who answered by fire?
Elijah must have remembered the handful of meal, that had been sufficient enough to nourish a household for many months, and thought, glory to God , little is much when God is in it. In His hand it shall multiply and furnish an abundant downpour. Go tell Ahab to hitch up his horses, and to hurry or the rain will stop him.
So Ahab arose, apparently not doubting that a flash flood was on the way, and rushed down the mountain. But his heart was still set against God. He was convinced, but not converted. He had mental assent, head knowledge, but not heart knowledge.
There are a lot of people in the same situation today, they will agree that God is, that He is mighty, that the gospel is true, but they will not surrender to Jesus. They have head knowledge but not heart knowledge. The way to tell the difference is easy. When the going gets tough, head knowledge will give you a headache, heart knowledge will give you peace.
What we can learn from this segment of Elijah life:
If God be God, serve Him, stop messing around with Baal.
To Satan the people who serve him are expendable.
People who serve God, are precious to Him.
We should walk by faith and not by sight. Jesus said, blessed are those who having not seen, yet believe.
Study the Word, listen and He will direct.
What ever you do, be sure to do it in the name of the Lord.
Answers to prayer may not look the way you expect them to and do not always happen as soon as you say amen.
MEAN WHILE BACK AT THE PALACE
1 Kings 19:1 "Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword".
Ahab told Jezebel, notice that there is not a single mention of God, even though he had just witnessed fire coming down from heaven and dashed through the rain. He was probably standing in a puddle as he described the events of the day. I wondered as I studied this, why Jezebel did not go to the mountain. Maybe she had confidence that her prophets would prevail and she would receive the glory for the rain.
I think Jezebelís reaction to this news is astounding. Suppose someone has just said to you that one man had stood against 850, and had called down fire from heaven. That all of the people who viewed this event believed that the God who sent fire from heaven was the true God and all your prophets were dead? Considering the events of the last three and one half years, how would you react? Would you fall to the ground and plead Oh! God forgive me? Most of us would. Why didnít all these happenings soften Jezebel?
How did Jezebel reach this stage of hardness of heart? It surely did not happen over night. She had resisted the call of God over and over and over. Then finally the call of God which was intended to soften and draw now only worked resentment in the mind and hostility in the heart. Pharaoh also had opportunity to repent and resisted. Then one day he reared up against the will of God to let the people go and declared Exodus 15:9 "I will pursue, I will overtake, and I will divide the spoils. My lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them." and with his hardness of heart and his spoken will, he sealed his doom.
Has the Lord been dealing with you about something? Give it up, yield, remember the same sun shining down from heaven that softens butter, also hardens clay.
Next: Lesson Eight