Storyline #60: 1 Kings 17-22 “gods vs. God: time to put up or shut up”

4---titleFree resources for youth pastors and small group leaders:
4 – 1 Kings 17-22 – Elijah Mt. Carmel (mp3)
4 – 1 Kings 17-22 – Elijah Mt Carmel (fillout sheet)
4 – 1 Kings 17-22 – Elijah Mt Carmel (ppt)
4 – 1 Kings 17-22 – Elijah Mt Carmel (Scripture)
4 – 1 Kings 17-22 – Elijah Mt Carmel (outline)
4 – 1 Kings 17-22 – Elijah Mt Carmel (service order)
1 Kings Sermon Intro Video:
A highly respected Christian leader (who I know well) got a call from a church in his state.  The church asked him to send them a good pastoral candidate for their open senior pastor position.  The Sunday the pastor candidate preached to that church (an all-white church), a family of a different nationality came down front to join the church.  The all-white church denied their membership, and because of it, the pastor candidate refused the position.  The church called the Christian leader again asking for another pastor candidate.  The leader then told them, “You already have a pastor, and it’s the Devil!”

There are times in our lives that we call sin, a struggle, a habit, or just a phase…when in reality we are worshipping other gods than the real God through Christ.  So listen up as you may be worshipping Satan through different gods rather than Jesus.  

Go ahead and read 1 Kings 18 real quick.  Good stuff, right?  What we have here is Elijah (the prophet of God) challenging Ahab (the king of Israel) to a showdown of the “Gods” to see who truly is the real God.  In other words: its time to put up or shut up.

So Ahab calls all of the people of Israel and several hundreds of prophets of false gods to the playing field (Mount Carmel).  As the Israelites watch, Elijah sets the rules which are each team (450 prophets of Baal vs. Elijah the 1 prophet of God) to make an altar to their “God”, cut up a bull on it, and call down fire from their “God” to burn it up.

Elijah gets cocky and let’s them pick the first bull and he lets them go first.  He’s saying, “I don’t want any excuses.  My only advantage is that I serve the real God (18:17-25).

The prophets of Baal picked their bull, cut it up, and began calling out to Baal to answer them over four hours (18:26-29).  When they didn’t get a response, they started doing da limpy-leg dance and screaming even more loudly.  Sounds a lot like a Jonas Brothers concert!  Elijah gets cocky and begins to trash talk them saying, “Maybe your god can’t hear you because he’s too deep in thought (not omniscient), or maybe he’s on the potty (only human), or possibly he’s away on a trip (not omnipresent), or its his nap time (not omnipotent).  Then the prophets began to cut themselves with swords to get their god’s attention.  Notice: cutting yourself is a very demonic act, and not God’s desire at all.  They got no response from Baal whatsoever.  Sin may give us what we want, but it will leave us alone, in darkness, with no love, no answers, no truth, and no real life.

I often wonder if we are worshipping other gods when we just call it sin, a struggle, or a phase.  Baal was known as the god of money.  Do we really worship him when we put money over Christ?  Asherah is the goddess of sex.  Do we really worship her when we put our lust over Christ?  Artemis is the god of youth and beauty.  Molech is the god of child sacrifice (abortion).  Nebo is the god of education.  Could we really be worshipping a demon who is masquerading as a god when we put these things over following Christ?  What makes a false-god false is that they aren’t the one, real, true God.

Elijah then simply calls all of on-looking Israel to himself (18:30-40).  He rebuilds God’s altar with 12 stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel as to say, “Don’t forget where you came from, and Whose you are.  You are God’s chosen, people!”  Elijah then had 12 big jars of water poured onto the sacrificial bull, the wood, and the altar to show them that this will be impossible to light unless it is the real God.  Elijah did not scream for hours or do his prophetic jig, but he simply prayed asking God to make Himself known as the one, true God to His people.  Fire came down from heaven, burned everything up.  The people fell on their faces and truly worshiped Him saying, “The Lord, He is God.”  Elijah Then ordered that all the prophets of Baal be killed.  Truly worship Jesus alone by killing your sin, ignoring other gods, and make God known to all!

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