This message was preached by Colin D cruz at Word of Grace Church Pune, on the 29th of clicking here 2014 . You can listen/ to the audio by
The monsoons have been delayed and people are beginning to panic. If the rains get delayed further, what do you think will happen? What if it is delayed for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months , 1 year?
In Israel they had no rain for 3.5 years. The King went around looking for water. It was desperate. We’ll look at an Old Testament Story. (Rom15:4) They were written for a purpose. What happened in 900BC was written so that we will be encouraged and have hope.
Elijah is introduced out of the blue. Elijah prophecies that there will be no rain till he says o. Ahab realized that as the rain didn’t come after 2 years and he is very upset.
The background to this story is this – During the rule of King David there was peace in the land. Then King Solomon came on the throne and things were still ok. It’s after Solomon that the kingdom split into Israel and Judah. They were on the decline. Ahab was king of the north (1Kings 16:31). He worshipped Baal. He married Jezebel who brought all her idols along with her and the whole nation is affected. The Bible records him as the most evil man that ever lived.
Obadiah and Ahab are looking for water. Elijah is hiding by a brook (the irony) and was being fed by ravens. When the brook dries up God send him to this widows house that has nothing but a little flour and oil. An amazing miracle happens- the jar of oil and flour never runs out till the rain comes.
Elijah now wants to meet Ahab (18:16).
Verse 18 Elijah speaks up to the King who worshipped Baal and Ashtoreth – the Gods of immorality, of lightening, thunder and rain!!!
Elijah challenges Ahab and Jezebel 400 prophets of Baal. Be careful whom you marry. Ahab brings the 400 prophets to Mt Carmel and the people come too.
V21 the people are expectant. Elijah rebukes the people for wavering in their faith but they said nothing! Israel’s started off well but now they were indifferent to Elijah’s rebuke.
You can’t have your legs in tow boats. It will destroy you.
V25 So the sacrifice is prepared and they called on the name of Baal the whole day. They danced in frenzy. Elijah taunts them. Evening came and nothing happened.
Elijah showed the people that these idols could do nothing.
V32 In the evening Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord. /he put 12 stones on them. He reminded them who they are. They forgot their identity and destiny. God called them Israel i.e. Prince with God.
Then he digs a trench around the altar big enough to hold 15 liters of water. He puts water on the wooed and sacrifices. They did this 3 times and the trench was full (imagine doing that in a time of severe drought!) Elijah is making sure that when the fire comes it has to be a super natural event.
V36 Elijah prayer “ God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel” ( not Jacob). He was in tune with God – he was doing God’s bidding. And fire fell from heaven and it burnt the wood, offering, trench and stones.
V39 the people whose hearts were luke-warm we now warmed again. The prophets of Baal were killed. This is a true story. No matter how technologically advanced we are we still need God to send the rain. He is almighty.
God was showing his people you need to depend on me. God will do what he wants to do to get his people in line ( Heb 12:7)He loves his people.
Elijah placed a challenge before the people i.e God or Baal.
Joshua placed the same challenge. God is sovereign over our lives. We can become luke-warm. God hates it. Rev 3:17
We need to check ourselves – are we on fire like ?Elijah or have we gone cold as ice like Israel who were distracted with other things and think that all is well because we have material prosperity?
That is dangerous. Are we passionate about the kingdom? Let the Holy Spirit examine our hearts. We can miss out on what God has for us.
James 5:17-18 tells us that Elijah was a man just like us. Our prayers can be powerful and effective. If we pray God can do amazing things.
Our hope is in God. We need to test our hearts and there is power in prayer. As we do this we will see the power of God poured out on our nation.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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