“High-stakes Contest: Choosing God over Alternatives”

1Kings 18 (1-2,16-24,36-39) July 29, 2007  Play AUDIO (mp3)  Play VIDEO (wmv)

Clash at Mount Carmel

 ○     murders somehow justified in criminal’s mind
 ○     contest on Mt.Carmel in Israel against evil involved bloodshed, like real world
 ○     high stakes as royalty had been killing off Lord’s prophets (4,13; De 13:18, 17:5)
 ○     devil prowling to steal, kill, destroy, devour (Jn 10:10; 1Pet 5:8)

Baal, Asherah, and Modern-day Idols

 ○     main issue abandoning God’s commands to follow Baals (17f; 16:30ff)
 ○     Baal/Asherah popular Canaanite fertilty gods; worship orgies
 ○     idolatry forbidden in Ten Commandments: God ‘jealous’ (Ex 20:3-6)
 ○     can’t serve 2 masters: slave to sin or righteousness; deny self to follow Jesus (Rom 6:16ff; Mt 6:24; Lk 9:23)
 ○     beware attachment to things; immoral / greedy won’t enter God’s kingdom (1Cor 7:31, 6:9f)
 ○     stop hopping between 2 opinions (21)

God Proves Himself by His Works and Word

 ○     showdown between thunder-riding gods: fire for altar (23f; Ps 104:3, 18:14)
 ○     frantic shouts contrast with simple prayer: about knowing Yahweh is God (36)
 ○     fire from above consumes more than sacrifice and wood: reminds of judgment (38; 1Pet 3:7,10,12)

If God Be God...

 ○     put away idolatry, immorality, rage, malice, lies: put on new self like Creator (Eph 4:22; Col 3:5-10)
 ○     blessing of rain returns after drought; recompense in eternal life (45; 8:35f; Mk 10:30)
 ○     God will make us complete & strong after suffering ‘a little while’ (1Pet 5:10)

Yielding Your All when Fire Falls

 ○     devastating fire consumed missionary’s life work
 ○     report prompted new support, progress, spread of Good News