1 Kings 18 Outline
– God instructed Elijah to present himself to King Ahab (1 Kings 18:1-2)
– King Ahab instructed Obadiah to go through the land to find grass (1 Kings 18:3-6)
– Obadiah met with Elijah (1 Kings 18:7)
– Elijah asked Obadiah to tell King Ahab he is there (1 Kings 18:8-15)
– King Ahab met with Elijah (1 Kings 18:16-17)
– Elijah asked King Ahab to gathered the Baal and Asherah prophets on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:18-20)
– Elijah challenged the Baal prophets (1 Kings 18:21-25)
– The Baal prophets did not get any answer from their god (1 Kings 18:26)
– Elijah teased the Baal prophets (1 Kings 18:27-29)
– Elijah repaired God’s altar and dug a trench around it (1 Kings 18:30-32)
– Elijah instructed the people to pour 4 large jars of water on the altar for 3 times (1 Kings 18:33-35)
– Elijah prayed and God answered by sending fire on the altar (1 Kings 18:36-38)
– Elijah had the Baal prophets slaughtered in Kishon brook (1 Kings 18:39-40)
– God sent a heavy rain on Israel (1 Kings 18:41-46)
1 Kings 18 Summary
God instructed Elijah to go and see King Ahab. There was a severe famine in Samaria at that time. Ahab instructed Obadiah to go through the land to see if there is any grass to feed the horses and mules so that they don’t have to kill them. Obadiah and King Ahab headed for a different direction. Each cover different parts of the land.
When Obadiah was walking, he met Elijah. Elijah asked Obadiah to tell King Ahab that he is there. Obadiah said he was afraid to tell King Ahab to come because the Elijah can be carried away by the Spirit of God at anytime. If Elijah get carried away by the Spirit of God and King Ahab didn’t find him there, he may kill Obadiah.
King Ahab had sent his men to search for Elijah in every nation and kingdom. If Elijah was not found in the kingdom, he will make them swear they couldn’t find him. Obadiah had helped God’s prophets by hiding 100 of them in two caves when Jezebel was killing God’s prophets. Obadiah hid 50 prophets in one cave and provided with food and water. Elijah replied that he will surely see King Ahab that day.
Obadiah went to tell King Ahab about Elijah. When King Ahab saw Elijah, he called him a trouble maker. Elijah asked King Ahab to assemble the 450 Baal prophets and 400 Asherah prophets to meet him on Mount Carmel. Ahab sent word throughout the land to gather the prophets on Mount Carmel. When they had assembled on Mount Carmel, Elijah rebuked them for disbelief. He put forward a challenge – the prophets and Elijah are to choose a bull and cut it into pieces and placed it on the wood but not set fire to it. They are to call on their god and the god who answers by fire wins.
Baal prophets tried from morning to noon to ask Baal to set fire on the altar but there was no answer. Elijah teased them by asking them to shout louder. He said that Baal probably was busy or traveling or in deep sleep and needs to be awakened. The Baal prophets cut themselves and blood flowed but there was no answer. They kept on prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice arrives.
Then, Elijah summoned the people to come to him. He repaired the altar. He used 12 stones to built the altar. After that, he dug a trench that can hold about 2 seahs of seed around the altar. After arranging the wood, he cut the bull into pieces and put them on the wood. Then, he instructed the men to fill 4 large jars of water and pour them on the meat and wood for 3 times. Eventually the water filled the ditch up the brim. Elijah prayed to God to answer his prayer and God sent fire to burn up the sacrifice, wood, stone, sand and soil. The fire also had dried up all the water in the trench.
After that, Elijah commanded the people to capture the Baal prophets and he had them slaughtered at the Kishon brook. He told King Ahab to go and eat and drink because there is a sound of heavy rain. Elijah instructed his servant to go and look towards the sea for 7 times. At the 7th time, the servant saw a cloud as large as a man’s hand coming up from the sea. Then, Elijah told his servant to tell King Ahab to hitch his chariot and go down before the rain comes. In the mean time, the sky became darker and a heavy down pouring of rain took place. Elijah tuck his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab to Jezreel.
1 Kings 18 Bible Study
1. Stepping up and present yourself when you should
There was a time God told Elijah to hide himself and now God is telling Elijah to present himself to King Ahab. We should shrug our responsibilities and step up to do the right thing when it is time to do so. If you saw someone sinning in the church, you must step up and use God’s word to correct him so that he can turn away from his sin and walk on the path of righteousness (Matthe2 18:15-17; Proverbs 27:5; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Timothy 5:20; 2 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 4:12; Titus 2:15)
2. Be brave for God
Obadiah hid 100 God’s prophets in 2 caves when Jezebel was attempting to eliminate them from the land. In times of persecution, we must be brave and step up to do the right thing for God. He who persist to the end in the persecution will receive the crown of life. Joshua 1:9 states that we should be bold and courageous because God will be with us wherever we go.
3. There is only one God
Elijah rebuked the Baal prophets for their disbelief in God. The Baal prophets cut themselves and tried frantically to seek an answer from Baal but there was no response. There is only one God. The idols are man made and they cannot speak or see or move because they are lifeless. God is a living God. When Elijah prayed, God answered by sending fire to consume the sacrifices on the altar (James 2:19; John 1:1; Isaiah 43:11; Isaiah 44:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; John 10:30; Mark 12:29).
4. Prayer changes things
Elijah prayed with faith and God answered by sending fire on the altar. If you want something, you must pray. God will only do work when you ask for it in prayer. God knows all our needs but he wants us to ask him for it. Elijah trusted in his prayer and God sent a heavy rain on Israel (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18; 1 John 3:22).