Elijah: Man of Prayer
Pastor Ken shares from the I Kings 18 narrative of Elijah and the false prophets.
Like the Israelites then, we have a choice before us today.
I Kings 18:20-29
God or Baal on Mount Carmel
So Ahab sent orders among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long are you going to struggle with the two choices? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him so much as a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left as a prophet of the Lord, while Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Now have them give us two oxen; and have them choose the one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” And all the people replied, “That is a good idea.”
So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose the one ox for yourselves and prepare it first, since there are many of you, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under the ox.” Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it, and they called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice and no one answered. And they limped about the altar which they had made. And at noon Elijah ridiculed them and said, “Call out with a loud voice, since he is a god; undoubtedly he is attending to business, or is on the way, or is on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep, and will awaken.” So they cried out with a loud voice, and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until blood gushed out on them. When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.
I Kings 18:30-39
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come forward to me.” So all the people came forward to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. Then Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed. Then he laid out the wood, and he cut the ox in pieces and placed it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time,” so they did it a second time. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” so they did it a third time. The water flowed around the altar, and he also filled the trench with water.
Then at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet approached and said, “Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that You, Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood, and the stones and the dust; and it licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God!”
But Thomas, one of the twelve, who was called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
Eight days later His disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be to you.”
Then He *said to Thomas, “Place your finger here, and see My hands; and take your hand and put it into My side; and do not continue in disbelief, but be a believer.”
Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you now believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
Why This Gospel Was Written
So then, many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have life in His name.
What is your response?
Like the Israelites in Elijah's day, we are faced with a choice.
We cannot follow the "Baals" of our day and follow Jesus.
We must do one or the other.
When the Israelites witnessed the results of the contest between Elijah's God and the false gods supported by King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, they cried out, "The Lord, He is God; The Lord, He is God!"
When Thomas came face-to-face with the resurrected Christ, he cried out,