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Elijah 6 – Elijah Meets Ahab


Elijah 6 – Elijah Meets Ahab

Text: 1st Kings 18:1-16

So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.  What would happen when Elijah met Ahab?

1. Elijah Makes the Journey! 18:16 Ahab went to meet Elijah

Now I’ve often wondered what that journey would be like.  What was going through Elijah’s mind as he trudged along the road to Ahab’s palace?  Here’s Elijah on the road.  What would that road have been like?

  • All along the road, would be little roadside shrines.  Ba’alism was a form of henotheism, where each field had it own god, each path, each house, each barn…  So there were shrines to all these false gods all along the road.
  • Carcasses.  There must have been dead carcasses of animals strewn everywhere.  The dead animals would have been lying, rotting along the way.
  • Wanted posters!  V10, As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you.  Ahab was searching everywhere for Elijah.

So Elijah is on the road to the King’s presence!  I don’t know if he’s afraid, or if he’s anticipating what will happen when he gets there, but God has told him to go, and Elijah must obey the Lord! cf  Elijah the prophet came near and said, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.


2. Elijah Gets the Blame! V.17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” 

Now, from Ahab’s perspective, all the blame for the death and destruction that Israel has suffered during this famine is Elijah’s fault.  Elijah must have put some kind of a curse upon the land.  But Elijah is only the messenger!  Listen to his reply, v.18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals.  Why had this famine happened, AND WHERE DOES THE REAL BLAME FOR THE TERRIBLE JUDGEMENT OF God lie?  Elijah gives two reasons:

  • Israel had forsaken the Lord!
    • They had forsaken Him PERSONALLY!  You see, you can’t forsake someone you have never known!  Israel had known the Lord, had known his goodness and his blessing and had forsaken Him!  We need to be ever so careful about the danger of rejecting God, growing cold in our faith, turning our backs on Him, after we have known his salvation and his blessing.
    • They had forsaken him EXPERIENTIALLY!  They had forsaken the COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. They were multi-culturalists, long before the post-modern politically correct dogma of multi-culturalism was ever invented!  They didn’t deny that Jehovah exists, they simple relegated him to the position of one god among many others!  They could worship with anyone, no matter what God they believed in!  But that’s not what Jehovah has commanded.  Exodus 20:3-6.
  • Israel had FOLLOWED THE BAALS!   That’s the second indictment that Elijah lays before Ahab.   Now there’s a very important lesson here.  Ahab and Jezebel had to worship something, because that’s what mankind was made for.  So, Ahab worshipped Baal.  He rejected the living true God, and he worshipped a dead, worthless inanimate object.  Stupid? No, don’t be too harsh on him – the same applies to every one of us.  If we don’t worship God, we worship something, and anything other than God is WORTHLESS WORSHIP!  Worship your work, or your car, or you house, or your money… Something unworthy of your worship.

When we forsake the Lord, and refuse to obey Him, and give something else first place – in a life that is rightly his, – how deep is the spiritual drought that results!  How awful the hunger!  How deep the consequences!  How terrible the judgement of God!  So:-


3. Elijah Issues the Challenge! V19

God wants to challenge Ahab, and to bring him and the whole land of Israel to repentance.  There are some lessons that Israel needs to learn!

  • That sin provokes God to anger!
  • That there is NO other God but Jehovah!  Only Jehovah can hear prayer and answer, and Baal is a dead idol!

So, Ahab is challenged to come to Carmel, to see if Baal, or if Jehovah is the true God.  And its to be done in public so Elijah challenges Ahab to gather all Israel!


4. Elijah Contests Popular Opinion!

Now, look at the numbers involved here, in verse 19.  There are to be 850 false prophets called, to come to this great challenge.  Against them is one man, Elijah. Cf v22

  • Elijah was outnumbered democratically! Now, someone might say that Elijah was out-voted, in the matter of public opinion.  Pop-opinion is a very dangerous thing.  As we see here at Carmel, majorities are not always right!  The Word of God should be our standard, not just a majority vote!
  • Elijah was outnumbered physically!  But that actually didn’t matter!  God + 1 = a majority!  If God be for us, who can be against us?

So the challenge is issued, and amazingly, it is taken up by Ahab.  v20 So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount CarmelThe king is at the end of his tether, the famine is biting, the situation is desperate, we are days away from death.  And God has ordained that it will happen.  The scene for the challenge is set.  What will happen at Carmel?  We shall see in our next study!

From → 1st & 2nd Kings

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