Elijah on Mount Carmel

Scripture Passage: 
1 Kings 18:1-46

INTRODUCTION: Elijah burst on the scene declaring a drought upon the nation of Israel; now he returns to propose a battle against the false religion of the people. He presents himself to Ahab and challenges the prophets of Baal to compete on mount Carmel. Had Elijah not learned faith in the last chapter, there would be no way for him to trust the Lord in his duties now.

  1. THE SEARCH FOR ELIJAH (1 Kings 18:1-16)
    1. The Lord Sent Elijah to Ahab (1 Kings 18:1-2).
      1. Sent by the word of the Lord (1 Kings 18:1)
      2. Sent in the third year (1 Kings 18:1; James 5:17)
      3. Sent to announce the coming of rain (1 Kings 18:1)
      4. Sent at a time of sore famine (1 Kings 18:2; compare Amos 8:11)
    2. Ahab Sent Obadiah to Find Grass (1 Kings 18:3-6).
      1. The person of Obadiah (1 Kings 18:3-4)
        1. The governor of Ahab’s house (1 Kings 18:3)
        2. A man who feared God greatly (1 Kings 18:3)
        3. A man who hid a hundred prophets of God (1 Kings 18:4)
          1. Fifty each in two caves
          2. Feeding them bread and water
      2. The work of Obadiah (1 Kings 18:5-6)
        1. Sent to seek grass in places where water might be found, in order to keep the horses and mules alive (1 Kings 18:5)
        2. Sent one way while Ahab went another (1 Kings 18:6)
    3. Elijah Met Obadiah in the Way (1 Kings 18:7-14).
      1. Elijah revealed himself to Obadiah (1 Kings 18:7-8).
        1. Elijah met Obadiah in the way (1 Kings 18:7).
        2. Obadiah fell on his face and asked if he were Elijah (1 Kings 18:7).
        3. Elijah confirmed his identity (1 Kings 18:8).
        4. Elijah instructed Obadiah to tell Ahab of his presence (1 Kings 18:8).
      2. Obadiah feared to tell Ahab of Elijah (1 Kings 18:9-14).
        1. Others had sought Elijah and could not find him (1 Kings 18:9-11).
          1. Obadiah feared that he would lose his life if he knew of Elijah’s whereabouts (1 Kings 18:9).
          2. Obadiah told Elijah that he had been sought in every nation and kingdom (1 Kings 18:10).
          3. Therefore, Obadiah feared to report that Elijah was there (1 Kings 18:11).
        2. Obadiah feared that the Spirit of the Lord would hide Elijah (1 Kings 18:12).
        3. Obadiah proclaimed his own righteousness (1 Kings 18:12-13).
          1. He feared the Lord from his youth (1 Kings 18:12).
          2. He hid and cared for the prophets of the Lord (1 Kings 18:13).
        4. Elijah’s disappearance would cause Obadiah’s death (1 Kings 18:14).
    4. Elijah Promised to Meet with Ahab (1 Kings 18:15-16).
      1. Elijah promised to show himself to Ahab (1 Kings 18:15).
      2. Obadiah told Ahab of finding Elijah (1 Kings 18:16).
  2. THE SACRIFICE OF ELIJAH (1 Kings 18:17-40)
    1. The Challenge Given by Elijah (1 Kings 18:17-24)
      1. The meeting with Ahab (1 Kings 18:17-19)
        1. Ahab accused Elijah of troubling Israel (1 Kings 18:17).
        2. Elijah identified Ahab as the troubler of Israel (1 Kings 18:18).
          1. Ahab had forsaken the commandments of the Lord.
          2. Ahab followed Baalim.
        3. Elijah asked that Israel be gathered to mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:19).
          1. The place
            1. 12 mile long ridge
            2. Juts out into the Mediterranean Sea
            3. Overlooks the Valley of Jezreel
            4. 1400 feet high at probable site of Elijah’s altar
          2. The people
          3. The prophets
            1. Of Baal – 450 in number
            2. Of the groves – 400 in number
            3. Note: It is interesting to note that the prophets ate at Jezebel’s table. It is always a dangerous mix when the government supports the religion.
      2. Ahab’s response (1 Kings 18:20)
        1. He sent unto all the children of Israel.
        2. He gathered all the prophets unto mount Carmel.
      3. Elijah’s message to the people (1 Kings 18:21)
        1. He rebuked the people for their instability.
          1. If the LORD be God, follow Him.
          2. If Baal, then follow him.
        2. The people answered him not a word.
      4. Elijah’s proposal (1 Kings 18:22-24)
        1. He opened by demonstrating that the odds were against him and, more specifically, the Lord (1 Kings 18:22).
        2. He suggested that each side prepare a sacrifice (1 Kings 18:23).
          1. The prophets of Baal could choose their bullock.
          2. The sacrifices would be cut in pieces.
          3. The sacrifices would be laid on wood, but no fire would be put under the sacrifice.
        3. Each would then call on the name of their god or God (1 Kings 18:24).
        4. The God who answered with fire was to be accepted as the true God (1 Kings 18:24).
        5. The people agreed to the contest (1 Kings 18:24).
    2. The Charge Elijah Gave to Baal and His Prophets (1 Kings 18:25-29)
      1. The sacrifice to Baal (1 Kings 18:25-26)
      2. The prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:26-28)
        1. They called upon Baal to no avail (1 Kings 18:26).
        2. They were mocked by Elijah (1 Kings 18:27).
        3. They continued to cry aloud (1 Kings 18:28).
        4. They cut themselves with knives and lancets until the blood gashed out upon them (1 Kings 18:28).
      3. The failure of Baal (1 Kings 18:29)
    3. The Conquest of God over Baal (1 Kings 18:30-38)
      1. The repair of the altar of the Lord (1 Kings 18:30-32)
      2. The pouring of water on the altar (1 Kings 18:33-35)
      3. The prayer of the prophet of God (1 Kings 18:36-37)
      4. The power of the answer of God (1 Kings 18:38)
    4. The power of the answer of God (1 Kings 18:38)
      1. The confession of the people (1 Kings 18:39)
      2. The killing of the prophets (1 Kings 18:40)
  3. THE SOAKING OF ELIJAH (1 Kings 18:41-46)
    1. The Calling Forth of the Rain (1 Kings 18:41-44)
    2. The Coming of the Man of God (1 Kings 18:45-46)

CONCLUSION: Elijah’s faith gave the Lord opportunity to show the world that He was the true and living God. Had Elijah failed to trust the Lord, the competition would never have occurred and the people would not have realized their need to turn to the Lord.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:4

An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.