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.


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