ELIJAH AT MOUNT CARMEL (1 Kings 18)
- Adonijah sets himself up as king
- David makes Solomon king
- Solomon asks for wisdom
- Solomon builds the temple
- The ark brought to the temple
- Solomon’s prayer of dedication
- The queen of Sheba visits Solomon
- Solomon’s wives
- Solomon’s death
- Israel rebels
- Golden calves at Bethel and Dan
- One bad king follows another
- Elijah fed by ravens
- The widow at Zarephath
Elijah at Mount Carmel: Pivotal story in all of scripture—the LORD Yahweh against Baal and his false prophets
1. recognize the CHOICE between two opinions; Yahweh versus Baal
2. accept the CHALLENGE of Elijah; pray down fire from heaven on the altar
3. return to point of CONTACT with Yahweh at Mount Carmel; Elijah repairs altar
4. radical CLEANSING; fire burns up sacrifice and altar; prophets of Baal are slain and the mountain is cleansed; see Deuteronomy 12 for a “policy” statement on cleansing
5. look for the CLOUDS of rain to break the drought in God’s timing; small first; bigger later
Charles Wesley’s pertinent hymn:
O Thou who camest from above,
The pure celestial fire to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love
Upon the mean altar of my heart.
There let it for Thy glory burn
With inextinguishable blaze,
And trembling to its source return,
In humble prayer and fervent praise.
Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
To work and speak and think for Thee;
Still let me guard the holy fire,
And still stir up Thy gift in me.
Ready for all Thy perfect will,
My acts of faith and love repeat,
Till death Thy endless mercies seal,
And make my sacrifice complete.
William Temple’s definition of worship:
- To quicken the conscience by the holiness of God,
to feed the mind with the truth of God,
to purge the imagination by the beauty of God,
to open up the heart to the love of God,
to devote the will to the purpose of God.”
Colin Smith summarizes:
- Authentic worship is a response to revealed truth–(1 Ki 18:21 NIV) Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.
- Authentic worship focuses on the living God–(1 Ki 18:37 NIV) Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
- Authentic worship focuses on an acceptable sacrifice–(1 Ki 18:38 NIV) Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.