1. For believers to appreciate the miracle of connecting to the Lord Jesus Christ and understand the Christ is sufficient for all our needs.
2. For believers to find joy and satisfaction in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Around 100 years after Solomon became King, at 874 BC King Ahab became king of Israel.
1 Kings 16:32-33New International Version (NIV)
He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.
Baal worshipppers believe that Baal is a god who brings the rain and bountiful harvest so the Lord asked Elijah to prophesy for drought to King Ahab. The Lord then instructed Elijah to hide in Kerith Ravine. God directed ravens to bring food to Elijah and he drank from the brook. When the brook dried up, Elijah went to Zarephath and ate with a widow and her son. God made the flour and oil unlimited until rain comes again.
1 Kings 17:1New International Version (NIV)
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
For three years there was neither rain nor due in northern kingdom, so the King looked for Elijah everywhere but can't find him. In God's perfect timing, God told Elijah to show up to the King after 3 years of hiding because God would now send rain again. Elijah asked King Ahab to assemble all the people of Israel and to invite the 850 pagan prophets at Mt Carmel. The 450 Baal's prophets and 400 Asherah's prophets ate at the queen's table and 100% supported by King Ahab. These influeced the nations badly that some started to doubt the Lord. So Elijah challenged the people of Israel at Mt Carmel to stand-up for the Lord.
1 Kings 18:21New International Version (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.
So Elijah proposed a solution to prove who is the real God. Both him and the false prophets would prepare an altar and offer a bull but will not fire it up. Elijah would call on the Lord and the false prophets would call on Baal and the one who answer with FIRE is the real God.
From morning until noon, the false prophets called on Baal but there's no answer. The entire afternoon they shouted louder and slashed themselves until they bled but Baal haven't responded. When evening came, Elijah called the people and started setting up the altar for the Lord.
1 Kings 18:33 New International Version (NIV)
He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”
The Israelites did it thrice as instructed by Elijah. And Elijah prayed to the Lord.
1 Kings 18:37-38 New International Version (NIV)
Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 38 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.
V40 – With Elijah's command the people of Israel seized all the pagan prophets and killed them.
V45 – Heavy rain came after 3 years of drought.
v46 – Elijah ran ahead of King Ahab riding a chariot.
God's miracles on Elijah's life.
- Prophesy that it will not rain or dew until he says so.
- God had hidden Elijah for 3 years
- King Ahab can't find him
- God supplied bread & meat twice a day delivered by ravens in Kerith Ravine
- God made the flour & oil unlimited of a widow in Zarephath
- Brought down fire to the wet altar in front of the people.
- Prophesy that it will rain again.
- Run faster than a chariot.
God did amazing miracles in Elijah's ministry but the most important miracle that God did is the miracle of having a personal relationship with God. Notice that in all these miracles, there were contant communication between God and Elijah. For every amazing display of power, Elijah waited instruction from God.
And this miracle of having a relationship and deep communication with God is available to us today. The Lord Jesus Christ said in Luke 19:10 that he came to seek and to save the lost. Our God is actively seeking all of us, and for all who accepted Him and believed in his name, be gave the right to become his child.
Luke 19:10New International Version (NIV)
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
John 1:12 New International Version (NIV)
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
If we continue to read on 1 Kings 19:2, Queen Jezebel sent messengers to Elijah that she will not stop until she killed Elijah. In verse 3, Elijah became afraid and ran for his life. After the mighty victory over the 850 pagan prophets, he was so tired and discouraged. In verse 4, Elijah prayed that he might die.
God let Elijah sleep, and provided food and drink for him twice until he fully regained his strength. Elijah then travelled to Mt Horeb in 40 days & 40 days night. Once there Elijah spent the night in a cave – abandoning his calling as the Lord's prophet. Then God asked him "What are you doing?" Elijah's reply showed that he's still discouraged.
1 Kings 19:10New International Version (NIV)
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
So God showed himselt to Elijah not in dramatic way as in the wind, earthquake, or fire. The Lord showed himself to Elijah in quite whisper, asking him "What are you doing here?"
1 Kings 19:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
Then in verses 15-18, the Lord ask Elijah to return where he came from and complete the missions that God entrusted him.
John 10:10New International Version (NIV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
We have an enemy, Satan – and his target is to steal our joy until we are so discouraged and loss all hope. Many people might not believe that Satan is real, but the Bible says he is. And is very active in our world. Look at the WHO report on depression.
Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 300 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.
Both non-christians and christians alike are Satan's target. The more the world ignore Satan's attack, the more the unaware individuals become his victims.
In our lowest moment, the miracle of knowing God will uplift us. Just like how God treated Elijah, our God will let us rest, will provide for our physical needs, and will encourage us until we can fully recover. Just like God whispered to Elijah, the Lord Jesus Christ is inviting everyone to have a close relationship with Him. It is the Lord Jesus Christ's mission to give us a full life (John 10:10) – if we only allow him. The Lord encouraged the believers in John 16:33 that He had overcame the world already. Satan was already defeated, all we have to do is to stand our ground. Christians – rejoice for your Lord has done the hard part! We are already victorious! Declare victory in your life! Declare victory from all bondage of sin! Declare victory from all the works of darkness in our lives. In Jesus name – we have freedom and can live a truly victorious life.
John 16:33 New International Version (NIV)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 3:18 New International Version (NIV)
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
In John 3:18 the Bible tells us that those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will not be condemned. So if this is your first time to hear about Jesus Christ or if you've been to a church for a long time already but haven't made the decision yet to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God is touching your heart now. Today is a great day to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you are ready please raise your hand so that I can pray for you. Is there anyone here who wanted to rededicate their lives to the Lord or maybe you already believe in Jesus but this time you want to fully surrender your life to the Lord (100%), please raise your hand so that I can pray for you.