Have you ever had the experience of seeing God show up in miraculous power? He came right when you needed him to. He provided you personally with exactly what you asked for. Answers like this build your faith, strengthen your resolve, and cause you to believe that God is with you and will come through for you.
Then, later on, you find yourself in a similar situation. You know what to doyou pray, you call on God, you believe, because you know what God can do. He has shown Himself to be faithful. He has come through right when you needed him to. But this time Hes late. In fact you dont seem to see any sign of Him at all. Things are going from bad to worse and you are beginning to wonder what happened. If you are currently experiencing something like this in your life, or if you recall a time when something like this happened, then take encouragement and find hope and peace from the Word of God.
Today we will look at a series of events in the life of arguably the greatest prophet of the Old Testament. We will see how the man of God responds to the presence and apparent absence of God and learn from his experience. Then we will take lessons and apply them to our own situations so that we will be able to see GOD ON HIS TERMS.
Who was Elijah?
1. The name Elijah means Yahweh is my God.
2. A Tishbite of the inhabitants of Gilead a rugged rustic area east of the Jordan River south of Galilee. 1 Kings 17:1. Tishbeh, says Calmet, is a city beyond Jordan, in the tribe of Gad, and in the land of Gilead. Elijahs primary ministry was in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Ahab.
3. He was a prophet of God whose life reads like an adventure novel, having performed some of the most notable miracles in the Bible.
4. He appeared along with Moses to Jesus and three of his disciples on the mount of transfiguration (Mt 17:2; Mk 9:2).
5. James 5:17 tells us Elijah was a man with a nature (homoiopaths) like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
6. Elijah was a man of mood swings, sometimes being full of faith and zeal for God, and other times suffering from depression and discouragement so severe that he despaired of life itself.
Some Major Events in Elijahs Ministry
1 Kings 17:
v1 Elijah declares that there will be no rain or dew for three years.
v6 Ravens brought him bread and meat twice a day.
vs10-16 the bin of flour and the jar of oil did not run out and fed Elijah, the widow and her son for many days.
vs17-23 He raises the widows son from the dead.
1 Kings 18:
vs20-40 Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to bring an offering by fire.
v21 Elijah challenges the people to choose to follow God.
v27 Elijah mocks the prophets of Baal.
vs36-39 Elijah prays and the fire of the Lord comes from heaven and consumes the offering and even the stones of the altar.
v40 Elijah executes the prophets of Baal.
vs41-45 Elijah prays 7 times and rain comes after three years of drought.
v46 Elijah outruns Ahabs chariot to the city of Jezreel.
1 Kings 19:
vs1-2 - Jezebel hears what Elijah did to the prophets of Baal and sends word to him that he is a dead man.
v3 - Elijah runs for his life.
v4 Elijah wishes for death
vs5-8 Elijah returns to Horeb (Mt. Sinai)
v9 God asks him what he is doing here?
v10 Elijah complains, I am the only one.
vs11-12 The Lord comes near with power and might.
v13 What are you doing here?
v14 Elijah complains again.
v15 God instructs Elijah to get on with his ministry.
vs15-16 Anoint new kings and get your successor.
v18 God tells Elijah that he is not the only one.
Principles from the life of Elijah
1. Sometimes fright and flight seem to be the only options for us. They are the natural human response to hardship and threat (v3).
2. Feelings of defeat and frustration are typical. The key is to not allow them to completely debilitate us (v4).
3. Difficult trials can take us back to the starting point, back to square 1, back to where God is (vs5-8).
4. Hard times will attempt to paralyze us into doing nothing (vs9, 13).
5. God is NOT the source of your trouble (vs12-14).
6. Sometimes there is just no answer to it (vs12-14).
7. Continuing in service is the best thing we can do (vs15-16).
8. I am not the only one (v18).
Application What do we do when facing trial and tribulation?
1. Understand that life is never settled. When we think that life is settled we must choose again to follow God.
2. If we need to, go back to square one, to where God is, to find hope and peace and strength to continue.
3. Whatever happens, dont stop. We must continue to serve the Lord in whatever way we can.
4. After being alone, dont stay alone. We must find people who will walk with us.
5. Always remember, sometimes there is just no answer to it.
1. How is life going for me right now?
2. If facing difficulty, what actions will I take to find the hope and peace that God can bring me?
3. Have I spent time alone with God on this issue? If not, when will I set aside time to do so?
4. Who do I have that will walk with me through this difficult time?