D. O. G.
(DEPEND ON GOD)
1 Samuel 17
#4 of 5 – D. O. G. (DEPEND ON GOD) DAYS
We usually don’t think of God as demonstrating things, but He does.
This week we are looking at one of the great prophets of the Old Testament, Elijah, to discover that God Demonstrates. God demonstrates His power. If you have ever felt the need for more of God’s power in your life, this message is for you! He wants to demonstrate His power through you!
By the time Elijah the Prophet came on the scene, the nation Israel had split into two countries, the Northern nation was Israel and the southern nation was Judah.
The northern nation, Israel, was trying to worship other gods, especially one called Baal, and God at the same time.
The King and Queen then, Ahab and Jezebel are remembered for their wickedness and idolatry.
1 Kings 16:30-33
God decided to demonstrate His power to Ahab and Jezebel, and the rebellious nation of Israel. He decided to demonstrate it through the prophet Elijah. God had warned Israel many times about turning away from the God of Israel to worship other Gods. He warned that there would be consequences.
So one day, God sent Elijah the Prophet to King Ahab to make an announcement. It was a demonstration of the Power of God working through Elijah. 1 Kings 17:1
Obviously Elijah was aware of the promise of draught if Israel worshipped other Gods. Based on these promises Elijah prayed. James 5:17
Please note that Elijah was a human being just like us!
There was nothing special about him except for His faith and his prayers. These are two things we can use as well so that God will demonstrate His power.
After it was obvious there was a draught, that Ahab started looking for Elijah! 1 Kings 18:10
But God knew that Ahab would be looking for Elijah, so He hid him! First Elijah was instructed to hide by the book Cherith where he drank from the stream and Ravens brought him food. When the stream dried up he was kept in Zarephath by a widow. Her cruise of oil and barrel of meal did not run out until it rained.
Finally, after 3 ˝ years it was time for God to demonstrate His power to Israel. 1 Kings 18:1
So Elijah did as he was told and appeared before Ahab. 1 Kings 18:17-29
Elijah called Ahab to gather the nation of Israel and the false prophets to Mount Carmel. This was a mountain near the Mediterranean Sea. God was going to demonstrate His power.
There are three things that I want us to examine in this passage this morning.
In order for God to demonstrate His power through Elijah, Elijah had to have the right motives.
In order for God to demonstrate His power through us, we have to have the right motives.
Vs. 36 – Elijah’s motives are displayed in this prayer.
1. He wanted Israel to know who the true God was in Israel. Because there were false prophets, particularly the prophets of Baal who were being worshipped, Elijah wanted Israel to know the only true God!
2. He also wanted to be known as the servant of God. If Elijah was going to be listened to, it needed to be clear that he was God’s servant.
3. He also wanted it to be known that what he had done and was doing was through directions or word. He wanted it known that the proclamation of the draught, the hiding, the contest between him and the prophets of Baal, were all according to God’s will.
If we want to see God’s power working through us, we need to have the same motives.
1. Whatever we ask for should be because we want people to know the only true God. Whatever we ask God to do should be because we want Him glorified and not ourselves.
2. Whatever we ask for should be because we want it known that we are God’s servants.
3. Whatever we ask for should be because we want it known that our actions are according to the will of God.
If you want God to demonstrate His power, make sure that your motives are right!
What methods did Elijah use so God would answer His prayers?
1. HE CONFRONTED.
Vss. 20-21 – The word halt means ‘to limp’ or ‘to totter’.
The children of Israel were trying to serve God and Baal at the same time! They were wavering between two gods!
How many of us are just like that? We want all the pleasures that the world has to offer and to serve God at the same time. It doesn’t work! Matthew 6:24
There are times when for God to demonstrate his power we are going to have speak up!
We will have to say to others, “Don’t flip-flop between two opinions. If you are going to serve Christ, serve Him! If you are going to serve yourself, another person, money or any other God, serve Him! Decide! You can’t do both!”
2. HE CHALLENGED
Vss. 22-24 – Elijah proposed a contest. The prophets of Baal, who was the sun God and the God of fire, were to prepare a sacrifice but not to light it. Elijah would do the same. The God that sent fire from Heaven was God!
Sometimes we might have to challenge people to put God to the test as well. “Let’s compare what my God is doing with what your God is doing. The one, who is actually making a difference in our lives, let Him be the God!”
If you are truly dedicated to the Lord and the other person is honest, you will never lose that challenge.
Elijah gave every advantage to his foes.
Vs. 25 – He let them go first and chose the sacrifice.
He let them have the better part of the day. He didn’t start his sacrifice until 3:00 in the afternoon. We already said the contest involved their God of fire!
Vss. 32-35 – When Elijah offered his sacrifice he had it doused it with water three times!
How do we make concessions? It will seem that God is giving every advantage to our foes!
Sometimes the situations we are asking God to solve get worse before they get better.
When this happens it means that God gets even more glory when He answers. And we should not get discouraged.
In this chapter there are two cases where Elijah cried to God. The first case is in this contest. Vss. 36-37
The second case was after the contest when he went further up the mountain and cast himself on the ground, scrunched himself up on the ground, and prayed for rain.
God wants us to cry to him in prayer! This is when he will demonstrate His power! Jeremiah 33:3,
1 John 5:14-15, Mark 11:22-24
God will demonstrate his power if we pray!
As we’ll see in a minute, God answered the prayer for fire from Heaven immediately with fire from Heaven.
Vss. 42-44 – When Elijah prayed for rain, he had to keep at until it happened!
Some prayers God will answer quickly. Other prayers God will expect you to keep praying until He answers.
We must be stubborn in prayer!
Matthew 7:7-8 - Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
In the original language it means that we are to keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. We are to be persistent in our prayers. Continue until God gives you an answer!
Vss. 38 – Fire came from Heaven
Vs. 39 – The people acknowledged the Lord as God. That was the greatest miracle of the four here.
Vs. 45 –It rained!
Vs. 46 – Elijah outran Ahab a distance of about 17 miles.