VBS - Day 1 - Elijah

1 Kings 18:1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.
1 Kings 18:2 And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.
1 Kings 18:3 And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly:
1 Kings 18:4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)
1 Kings 18:5 And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.
1 Kings 18:6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
1 Kings 18:7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah?
1 Kings 18:8 And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.
1 Kings 18:9 And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me?
1 Kings 18:10 As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not.
1 Kings 18:11 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.
1 Kings 18:12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth.
1 Kings 18:13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the Lord's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?
1 Kings 18:14 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me.
1 Kings 18:15 And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself unto him to day.
1 Kings 18:16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
1 Kings 18:17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
1 Kings 18:18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.
1 Kings 18:19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.
1 Kings 18:20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
1 Kings 18:22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
1 Kings 18:23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
1 Kings 18:24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
1 Kings 18:25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
1 Kings 18:26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
1 Kings 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
1 Kings 18:28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
1 Kings 18:29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
1 Kings 18:30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.
1 Kings 18:31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
1 Kings 18:32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.
1 Kings 18:33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
1 Kings 18:34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
1 Kings 18:35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
1 Kings 18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
1 Kings 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
1 Kings 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
1 Kings 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

Ahab (1 Kings 16:30-32): Horribly ungodly king - offended God more than any other king before him.
Married Jezebel - very wicked queen
Rebuilt Jericho w/ two of his sons in the foundation
- Worshipped Baal; put up an Asherah pole

Elijah - prophet of God - 1 Kings 17:1 - it won't rain for several years until God gives me word.

à severe famine

Ahab & Obadiah
- Let's search for grass/grain for our horses (emergency) to keep them alive.
- They searched near natural springs and in the most lush areas possible, so they were absolutely desperate for some living crops.

Obadiah meets Elijah - he eventually meets Ahab after guaranteeing that Obadiah would not die (Obadiah was a righteous man as well).

Ahab to Elijah - 'How are you, you who trouble Israel?'

Elijah - 'You're the one who has forsaken the Lord's commands.'

Elijah then asked Ahab to gather the people of Israel around Mount Carmel.

à People, who are you going to believe, God or Baal?
Bring out the idol worshippers - let's see whose God is real. The God who is real will answer by fire.

Is it the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel)?

...or is it the idols of man that Israel now has taken?

450 prophets of Baal
400 prophets of Asherah

All morning and into the afternoon, the pagan priests try to call on their idol to burn up their sacrifice

Elijah - make it as hard as possible for this to happen. Make it so that only a miracle would ignite the sacrifice!

Elijah rebuilds the altar w/ 12 stones (significant, symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel)

4 large jars of water - pour it on the altar...THREE TIMES
- Gallons and gallons of water.
- It also leaked down on the ground and filled the trench Elijah dug around the altar.

Elijah called on God and God sent fire to show His approval of the Sacrifice and His existence.
- Note that it wasn't just the altar, but everything around it as well, even to the trench Elijah dug well around it.

You can be one man or woman of God standing against everybody else, and you'll be the only right one standing. Be courageous - stand up for the true God.

Also - sometimes God speaks with a massive sign (e.g. fire). Later if you read on in 1 Kings, you see that God even spoke to Elijah in a small, still voice. God is at work, even today. Just as Elijah encountered, there are tons of false prophets and idols out there. Be sure to walk as Elijah did - focused on the LORD and not on false substitutions.

Other examples from Scripture of God working? (Samuel's dream, Gideon's sign/fleece, Isaiah's visions, Ezekiel's active illustrations, etc. including prophets, and especially Jesus and the Apostles in the NT)

How could this have gone wrong? (Elijah backing down/running away, if Elijah pushed his own agenda and not God's, the Israelites still not turning to the LORD)

What should we take from Elijah? (Be bold, stand up for God in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation, obey God's call on your life, etc.)