1 KINGS 18

6 Outlines

 

Obadiah, Layman Of Distinction

1 Kings 18:1-16

 

I'm not sure I like the term "layman", because it implies such a big distinction between those called "clergy".  When we divide Christianity into classes, such as "clergy" and "laity", we are implying that the clergy are full time Christians, and the laymen are not. This just isn't so!

Let us define a layman is a full-time Christian who is not being supported by God's people financially.

 

In our text we meet a layman who worked in the court of a wicked king.

He managed to maintain his testimony and serve the Lord in the hardest of circumstances.

 

Background: 1 Kings 17

 

OBADIAH FEARED THE LORD GREATLY Vss. 1-3

 

OBADIAH PROTECTED GOD'S SERVANTS Vs. 4

 

OBADIAH RESPECTED GOD'S PROPHET Vss. 5-7 (Hebrews 13:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

 

OBADIAH BELIEVED FROM HIS YOUTH Vs. 12

 

OBADIAH OBEYED GOD'S MAN Vss. 15-16 (Hebrews 13:17)

  Note: The pastor is a leader, a servant, and an example, NOT   

  DICTATOR!  1 Peter 5:1-4, 1 Timothy 4:12-16

 

 

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1 Kings 18:1-16

OBA WHO?

 

There are many famous Bible characters including Daniel, Joseph, Nehemiah, Peter, Paul, John the Baptist, Mary and Martha, Ruth, Esther and David.  However, there are also many other characters in the Bible that we've hardly heard of.  One such character is Obadiah, a man who served wicked king Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Maybe we are so unfamiliar with this man, that when his name is mentioned we might ask, "Oba Who?" Nevertheless, Obadiah was a good man who has much to teach us.

 

OBADIAH HUMBLED HIMSELF BEFORE GOD - Vss. 3, 12

He greatly feared the Lord from his youth.

 

OBADIAH HELPED THOSE IN NEED - Vss. 4, 13

When wicked Jezebel persecuted God's prophets, he protected and fed them.

 

OBADIAH HEEDED GOD'S PROPHET - Vss. 5-16

Although Obadiah was afraid of getting himself in trouble, he did as Elijah told him.

 

 

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1 KINGS 18:17-22

THE CONFRONTING SERVANT

 

One quality of a man or woman of God is it to "Tell it like it is."  That means that sometimes the servant of God has to confront those who are doing wrong. See Ezekiel 3:17-21. 

 

Elijah The Prophet was called upon to confront wicked King Ahab and the Children Of Israel after the 3 1/2 year draught.  Obadiah, Ahab's servant was contacted, and a meeting was set up with Ahab.

 

RESPONSIBILITY - Vss. 17-20 - Ahab tried to blame Israel's troubles on Israel.  But the prophet placed right where it belonged, which was on Ahab's shoulders.

 

REBUKE - Vs. 21a - Elijah rebukes the Children Of Israel, for trying to serve God and Baal (a false god) at the same time.  They were "halting between two opinions."

 

RELUCTANCE - Vs. 21b - Instead of agreeing with Elijah, and repenting, the Children Of Israel remained silent.  They were reluctant to admit their guilt.

 

REMNANT - Vs. 22 - God always has a remnant, a minority that remains faithful to Him. May we be in that remnant.

 

(In the rest of the chapter, Elijah proves that he is, the Lord's servant, and has victory over the prophets of Baal in a contest.  His confrontation of the Children Of Israel was of God.)

 

 

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1 Kings 18:30-46

ELIJAH, MAN OF PRAYER

 

Anyone who reads the life story of Elijah in the Bible must admit that

Elijah was a great man of prayer. What is challenging, scary, and exciting

is that God expects you and I to be effective prayer warriors like Elijah.

(See James 5:16-18, Jeremiah 33:3, Matthew 7:7-11 John 14:13-14, John 16:24,

& John 5:14-15.

 

In first Kings 18:30-46 we see Elijah praying and receiving two major

answers to prayer. God answers Elijah with fire from Heaven, and with rain

after 3 1/2 years of draught.

 

(You will want to give the background of this story and an explanation of

the contest between Elijah and the Prophets of Baal.

This information is found in 1 Kings 17-18.)

 

As Elijah receives these answers to prayer, we find him teaching us some

principles about how to pray. Consider that we should:

 

REPAIR PENITENTLY Vs. 30

The first think Elijah did was to repair the altar of the Lord.

Either through destruction by the enemy or neglect, the altar was in

disrepair.

Today, we offer the sacrifice of prayer and praise to God. (Hebrews 13:15,

Ephesians 6:18). The altar upon which we offer this sacrifice is our lives.

If we are in Spiritual disrepair, we cannot effectively offer our prayers to

God. (Psalm 66:18). We must repair our altars through confession of sin,

and making things right with others. (1 John 1:9, Matthew 5:23-24)

 

REQUEST RESPONSIBLY Vss. 36-37

You have heard it said that "With privilege comes responsibility."

It is a privilege to pray. We need to pray responsibly. (James 4:2-3)

Notice that Elijah prays to the right God.

He asks for God's Glory, so that it would be known who the true God was in

Israel.

Elijah also asks that it would be known that he was God's servant, and that

he acted according to God's word.

Finally, Elijah asks for revival. (Vs. 37)

When we pray we are to pray for the right things with the right motives. (1

John 5:14-15)

 

RELAX CONFIDENTLY Vss. 31-35, 38-39

Elijah made the task more difficult by digging a trench and having the fire

doused with water 3 times. However, Elijah was still confident that God

would answer his prayers.

There are times when we are praying that things get worse before they get

better. God is probably only allowing things to get harder so people will

know that He indeed has answered prayer in a very difficult situation. The

tougher the answer is, the more glory God receives when He does answer.

In Vss. 38-39, God answers with fire from Heaven.

 

RESPOND EXPECTANTLY Vss. 41-46

Elijah sends Ahab to have a meal, because, according to Elijah, rain was on

the way soon. Then Elijah went up and prayed. He constantly sent his servant

to look for the answer to prayer. When a cloud the size of man's hand

appeared, Elijah sent to Ahab, telling him to head for home before the rain

stopped him.

Elijah shows us that as we pray, we should look expectantly for answers. We

should not be impatient, but we should show our faith by watching for God's

answer to our prayers.

 

5. REPEAT FERVENTLY Vss. 42-43

Elijah continued to pray until he received His answer.

We should continue to pray until we receive our answers. (Luke 18:1-8)

 

 

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1 Kings 18:41-46

ON OUR KNEES IN FAITH

 

The draught had lasted 3 !/2 years.

Elijah, the prophet who had predicted the draught had been in hiding.

A great contest was held between the Prophet of God and the false prophets. Elijah had won. (See rest of chapter for details.) The onlookers had proclaimed, "The Lord He is the God; The Lord he is the God." (Vs. 39)

Now it was time for Elijah to pray for rain.  It was a prayer of faith.

This is exactly the type of prayers which we should pray by faith.

 

THE PROCLAMATION OF FAITH Vs. 41

Based on what God had told Elijah, Elijah believed that there would be rain.  All he needed was to believe it and pray for it.  God's word contains many promises which will be ours as we believe them and claim them by faith. (1John 5:14-15)

 

THE PRAYER OF FAITH Vs. 42

 

THE PERSPECTIVE OF FAITH Vss. 43-44

Elijah prayed by faith and looked for the answer.  We should also be on the outlook for God's answers to our confident prayers of faith.

 

THE POWER OF FAITH Vss. 45-46

The prayer of faith was answered miraculously. (James 5:16-17)

 

 

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1 Kings 18:41-46

FAITH AT WORK

 

As I write this outline I am soaring in a jet plane about 30,000 feet in the air.  To get from Suriname, South America to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Dottie and I will take four flights. Today we will put faith to work trusting four pilots and copilots, four flight crews, three airplanes and many air traffic controllers.

 

Daily we are to put our faith in God to work. We should be filled with the Spirit by faith. We should study God's Word by faith. We should witness and stand for righteousness by faith. One of our primary works of faith should be in prayer.  Elijah put his faith to work by praying. We should do the same.

 

THE OUTLOOK OF FAITH - Vs. 41

Elijah saw the answer coming even before there was a single sign of rain. He was confident that God would hear and answer his prayers.

 

THE OBSTINACY OF FAITH - Vss. 42-44

Elijah stubbornly believed that God would answer his prayer. He stubbornly waited, looking for God's answer. He stubbornly prayed until God answered. James 5:16-18, Luke 11:5-13

 

THE OUTCOME OF FAITH - Vss. 45-46

God answered Elijah's prayer of faith. Mark 11:22-26

In we learn to work in prayer by faith we will see tremendous results and will become virtually unstoppable.

 

 

 

 

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