Monday, February 13, 2012

Elijah 02: Which Do You Serve?

Is there a famous person (ie. athlete, entertainer, actor, musician, world leader, author, etc.) that you tend to idolize? What about that person do you idolize the most?

When (Ahab) saw Elijah, he said to him, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?" "I have not made trouble for Israel," Elijah replied. "But you and your father's fam- ily have. You have abandoned the Lord's commands and have followed the Baals .
1 Kings 18:17-18 (NIV) 

• False gods promise what only the one true God can provide. What false gods do you see being worshipped in the culture around you?

• Christians believe there is one true God, but sometimes we unintentionally serve false gods. What are one or two false gods that continue to resurface in your life?

• What do these false gods promise you that only God can provide?

Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table." So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing.

1 Kings 18:19-21 (NIV)

• What might help you quit wavering between false gods and the one True God?

Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire — he is God." Then all the people said, "What you say is good."
1 Kings 18:24 (NIV)

So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
1 Kings 18:26 (NIV)

Describe a time when you depended on one of the false gods you mentioned earlier instead of depending on God. What comfort did you think you’d find in that god? Did you find it?

At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord-he is God! The Lord-he is God!"
1 Kings 18:36-39 (NIV)

God answered Elijah’s prayer and revealed Himself to Elijah and the people of Israel. How has God revealed Himself to you in the past? In what way is God currently revealing Himself in your life that may be new and different?

Final Thought:
False gods promise what only the True God provides. With your group, ask God to help you be aware of any false gods in your life. Ask God for strength and wisdom to leave the false gods behind and put your trust in Him in every area of your life.

For Further Study

• Why do you think people tend to idolize entertainers, musicians and athletes?

Read 1 Kings 18:1-46
• What did God tell Elijah to do after almost three years of drought? (18:1-2)
• What was Obadiah’s story? (18:3-4)

• What attitude did Obadiah have toward Elijah? (18:7)
• What did Obadiah assume about Elijah’s ability to escape the king? (18:12)
• Whom did Elijah hold accountable for Israel’s troubles? (18:18)

How did the people respond when Elijah confronted them with their double- mindedness? (18:21)

How did the people respond to the confrontation Elijah proposed between Baal and God? (18:22-24)
• What happened to the altar of the Lord when Elijah prayed? (18:38)

• How did the people react when they saw fire burn up Elijah’s offering? (18:39)


What measures did Elijah take to make the lighting of his sacrifice much harder than the sacrifice to Baal?
• What did Elijah perceive that God was doing in Israel through this show- down?
• Despite the drama of the fire consuming the sacrifice, why did Elijah not assume that God would come through with the promised rain?
• To what extent is God obligated to answer our prayers to vindicate His own name?

• How might God use you this week to confront someone you know that is worshiping a false god?

Here are some suggestions you may want to use for your time with God this week:

Day 1:
Read 1 Kings 18:17-18. Pray and ask God to help you remove any false idols in your life.

Day 2:
Read 1 Kings 18:19-21. Tell God about any idols that you seem to be constantly battling in your life. Ask for His help in defeating that idol.

Day 3:
Read 1 Kings 18:24-26. Seek God’s satisfaction and comfort in prayer.

Day 4:
Read 1 Kings 18:27. Pray for those you know struggling with false idols
Ask God to release them from the hold these idols have on them.

Day 5: Read 1 Kings 18:36-39. Ask God to reveal Himself to you in prayer. Listen for His voice.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Elijah 01: The Making of a Man of God Followup

Think of someone you consider to be a true Christ follower. What unique attributes of their character would you like to see in your own life? Why?

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."

1 Kings 17:1 (NIV)

God had more to do in Elijah before He could do more through Elijah. God is preparing each of us so that He can work through us. How have you seen God prepare you for His
specific purposes throughout your life?

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.
1 Kings 17:2-3 (NIV)

In 1 Kings 17:2-3, God led Elijah to a period of hiding in the Kerith Ravine. Kerith means “cut off or cut down.” Describe a painful experience that God used to shape you into who you are today.

You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there." So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
1 Kings 17:4-6 (NIV)

  • God taught Elijah to depend on Him daily for food and water. What are you daily trusting God for right now?
  • Describe a time in your life when things felt very desperate but you saw God meet your needs. What did you learn from the experience?

    Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there.
    1 Kings 17:7-9a (NIV)

    • Describe a time when you decided to step out on faith and obey God even though that decision didn’t seem to make sense to you at the time. Did that experience strengthen your relationship with God? If so, how?
    • After the brook dried up, Elijah trusted God and moved on to Zarephath. Is there a “dry brook” in your life God is using to “motivate” you to move on to what He has next for you?

    Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth."
    1 Kings 17:24 (NIV)

    Final thought: 
    Just like Elijah, pain in our lives, can lead us to a total dependence on God and more intimate relationship with Him. 
    Pray and ask God to help you see Him and depend totally on Him during the good times and the bad.