FBCWest 543 | Make a Decision
Recorded On: 02/19/2023
Hymn # 459 “The Lily of the Valley”
SCRIPTURE READING – Psalm 9:1 & 2
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
OFFERTORY MUSIC – Pru Hungate
Praise and Worship
“Only King Forever”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“Resolved to Obey and Worship Only the Lord, God”
“Make a Decision”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
“Another in the Fire”
Acknowledgements and Announcements
Benediction “There Is Freedom”
Context of 1 Kings 17 – 18:15
1 Kings 18:16 – 19 Elijah meets with King Ahad & has him summon all Israel to meet at Mount Carmel with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah
1 Kings 18:20 – 24 Elijah challenges the prohets of their gods and His God. They accept the challenge
1 Kings 18:25 – 29 They repeatedly call on their gods but no one answers and Elijah mocks them
1 Kings 18:30 – 37 Elijah presents his offering and prayer to the Lord
1 Kings 18:38 God answers Elijah
1 Kings 18:39 & 40 The response of the people Context – the end of this event
Transcript of Service
We've been going through a series. That basically says that we are to. Not by the name. And to trust and worshipping the Lord our God. And that that we needed to make those decisions ahead of time. Over the past few messages, we've been talking about how men and women. Decided that their faith of their people were more important than what? For non believers, they compel them to do so. They were compelled to either bow and worship, or to pray to someone other than to God, or to do other things, and that they refuse, or risking even their lives. Last week we took a look a little different. There wasn't a compelling of taking the name, but the one who came. On a different mission decided. By the people of God's response to the mocking of their fear and intimidation that he wanted. The people of God and those who weren't the people of God to know that there was a God in Israel. And that he was the true God. And today, we're going to take. A look at another one and and his. Desire through the Lord's leading. Is not so much. To show that there is a God. To the others. But to get God's people? To recognize who God is and to forsake. All the others. And so in this message. I often tell. You that when I point a finger that I understand that when I point the finger, 3 fingers are pointing. Back at me. But today I want you to know that not only are three fingers pointing back to me, I'm also pointing the finger. Because there are too many people who claim to be believers, too many churches. Who have compromised and compromised and compromised that you no longer know who that they're serving as God? Event that's recording descriptions is one of my favorite. And it's and the reason for it is you'll hear people say.
That when you feel like you're losing. Read the end of the book and you'll see that we win. And my comment to that is you don't have to wait that far at the beginning. You know, God wins and we're on his team. And you know, in the middle that God wins and we're on his team. And yes, at the. End God wins and we're on his. But the reason why I like this particular one is using kind of the sports analogy. Again, using football as the analogy, there are times in a game when you feel that the that the team is starting to buckle under the pressure or that they feel like they're being defeated or whatever. And there's this one play and I'm going to use the person who. Has the ball suddenly. Pancakes be opposition tackler. And scores a touchdown and all of a sudden because of that one play, the spirits of the team lighten up and they find a renewed vigor and a renewed purpose. And they fight all the more. This is that section I believe in the script. And we find it in First Kings. And the context is, is that God had told his people long, many centuries before that, if his people did not follow him, they did not keep the commands. Not only would he ultimately kick them out of the land, but he would have reign to cease. And in case you think that that's a promise God into it in the millennial Kingdom, it says that if the people do not recognize the feast of booze during the millennial reign, they won't send rain to them. And so God tells a lie. I don't want to send rain. But pray. That no rain be sent. And as a matter of fact, James will talk about how Elijah with the nature like ours prayed and there was no rain for 3 1/2 years. And after Elijah prayed that prayer, God secreted him away to a brook and cared for him. And when that brook ran dry, he sent him to a a widow. With a a son. And Jesus even talks about that. Were there no widows in Israel, but yet God sent Elijah to to a foreign widow and she received the blessing of having cared for God's prophet. And during this period of time, people are looking for Elijah, and the King was looking for Elijah because they considered Elijah the problem as. Themselves being the problem. And so no one could find him. And they kept searching. And so. At that point. Comes upon the scene because God now says I want you to go and I'm going to send rain, but there's some things I want you to take care of. And so he goes to Obadiah. Elijah, who is a prophet, Obadiah is a prophet, and he goes to Obadiah, and he tells Obadiah, I want you to go to King Ahab. And send him a message that I want. To meet with him. You know the direct response is not what have I done to hurt you? Because as soon as I tell the king. Where you are, you won't be there and you'll kill me. And Elijah goes, no, no. It's OK you can you can make sure that it's OK. And so we've come to this point in verse 16 and says so Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him. But the word of the Lord had come to Elijah in the third year, saying go show yourself. It's it's moving on me before I'm ready. And we're now, but I OK. I'm, I'm messing. Up. So that's my fault. Went to meet Ahab and told him and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
A little technical. You're going to have to control this. There's a little time to squares and I can't read. Now that we got that technical difficulty out of the. Way and so they they meet and verse 18 it says. And he said I have not. Have I not troubled Israel? I'm sorry. Verse 17 when Ahab saw Elijah, they have said to him. Is this you or troubler of Israel. And so again he complains that it's Elijah who's the problem, not him. And then he, Elijah said, I have not troubled Israel. But you and your father's house have because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord. And you have followed the bar. We're saying instead of following God, we've been following false God. And that's the reason Israel is in trouble, not me. Is in verse 19 now Ben Sin and gather to meet all Israel at mount now? If you're from the South, it's pronounced. If you're from California, it's Paul Carmel. So no matter what I say, you're going to think I'm wrong. Because if you're from the South, you're going to say no, no, it's Mount Carmel. If you're from California grundo, there's a town up there and it's called Carmel. And it's spelled the same way. So you picked the way you wanted her, but I'm going to say I'm going to use both. OK, so so it says, Bill, that all Israel and build on Mount Carmel together with 450 profits of bail and 400 profits of Ashra who eat at Jezebel's table. Now Jezebel was the wife, the queen of King Ahab. And so basically what Elijah says is we're going to have a meeting, we're going to have all of this will come at this meeting. And I want you to bring 850 profits. A foreign God. And me? Seems like a fair battle, right? You're going to send all these people and we're going to be me. For verse 20, so Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came here to all the people and said how long would you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him. But if bail is follow him. Down he goes. How long are you going to go back between two opinions? If if the Lord is God, then follow him. But if Baal is the God, then follow him. Do not keep going back and forth. This is where we find Christianity Today. People have so compromised the word of God. That you hardly know that. It's the word of God. Because we've brought into it, we want to. Have our best life. We want to have our purpose. We want to do our thing. We want to have wisdom and power and fame and and wealth and all these things and influences. And if you take a look at our society, there's never been more depression. There's never been more despair. At the same time, we're supposedly richer than at other times. Because people keep wanting to go after the false gods of our society and our culture rather than obeying them. And if you take a look and it's frustrating because. All too often we can never tell between the believer or non believer. We all act the same. We all talk the same. We all have the same tattoos. We all do the same. Where is the difference? And that's what Elijah going. Why are you hesitating? Act as if God is God, or act as if fail as God, but don't keep picking and choosing and we keep picking and choosing when God is. Delivering us from some difficulty with hell. Praise God. Then we see. Other things. And the question is. Is God God. Is Jesus the son of God? Did he, in fact. Raised from the dead, and he did so. If he did, then we ought to act as if he's gone. But it's interesting that the people of God are always acting like the people of God, so they you would then say you're right, Elijah. We've been convicted. We're going to follow God. But the people did not answer him away. They couldn't make a commitment. Because so far it seemed that life was working out, except it wasn't. Raining, you know. Oopsy, Diane. But you know. Yeah. And it's we take a look at people's lives who are crumbling. We go. You haven't hit bottom yet. That's kind of there at this stage you're going, we're not gonna.
We're not going to make a decision here even though we haven't got rain for 3 1/2 years and it's looking like God is really God, but. The jury's out. Verse 22. And Elijah said to the people, I alone am left a prophet of the Lord. The bail profits are 450 men now. Elijah is not quite accurate here. As he's been out on his own. Being faithful to God. But Obadiah hid 100 profit. From Ahab because he was seeking to. Kill all the fun. Elijah felt and kind of rightfully so. Who was it that you have a whole nation who doesn't know whether God is God. And you have in essence 850 profits. On the other side. But for dramatic effects, I'm me and. 850 guys. Now let them give us 2 oxen and let them choose. One of the. Ox for themselves and cut it up and place it on the wood. But put no fire under it and I will prepare the other aux and lay it on the wood and I will not put a fire under it. Then you call on that name of your God and I will call on the name of the Lord and the God who answers by fire. He is God. Here's here's my challenge. We're going to take 2 offerings. You take 2 boxes, you're going to take an ox. You're going to put it up, you're going to put it on your altar. You're going to do all these things, and then I'm going to do the same thing and then you get to pray and I get to pray and whoever God answers by fire, not by water, not by emotion, but a demonstration of fire. On the offering, please God. That's the challenge. People said that's a good idea. Isn't it interesting? It is a good idea. But they didn't have to make any. Before follow God or don't follow God and they they remain silent. Now it's like, well, here's the contest single. We don't have any skin in the game. Sounds great to me. But what I just said to the prophets of Baal. Choose one ox for yourself and prepare first for your for you our many, and call on the. Name of your God. But put no fire under it. It goes. You get to go first. Giving you the advantage. Then they took the ox, which was given to them, and they prepared it and called on the name of bail from morning until noon, saying oh bail answer us. But there was no voice and no one answer. And they leaped about on the altar, which they had made. I have difficulty having you. Stay here about an hour. They start from the morning until noon, trying to get their God to answer them, and nothing's happening. At least we sing and we pray and we do a few things and and I give a message and maybe it's it's pretty good for it or, you know, it's it. You know something's happening. And then you say, well, when. Do we go to lunch? Half a day, nothing's happening. Kind of boring. So they get more. More emphatic after leaping so it came about at noon that Elijah mocked them and said call out with a loud voice for he is a God. Either he is occupied or gone aside, or he's on a journey. Or perhaps he's asleep and needs to be awakened. He goes. You're not talking loud enough. Start yelling and screaming. Maybe you need to get his attention. Maybe he's gone, you know, maybe maybe took a trip. Maybe it's time to go to Fiji instead of whatever, you know. Or. Or maybe it's a? New map you know, and it's getting a. Power nap so. You know, and I'm, I'm loving this. I wish Hollywood make a movie out of this and this is. So they're they're doing all this stuff and he's gone. So they cried with. A loud voice. And cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until blood gushed out on them. So we're going. What is it that we can do to get our God to act? And so they're yelling and screaming and dancing and leaping and using swords and lances and cutting themselves and doing also so that they believe.
They're doing their part. When midday was passed. They waved until the time of the offering of evening sacrifice, but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention. Let me give you a reason why. If there was nobody home. Because there is no other God but God. So they can dance and they can sing, and they can weep. And they can cut themselves and do all this stuff and they can yell and scream. But since there is no God, there's no one to answer. We pretty much they spent all day. And well, I just said to all the people come near to me. All the people came here to him and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. You'll notice first he goes. Here's the problem. You took the altar of God and you tore it down. I'm going to rebuild it. And Lyja took 12 Stones, according to the number of the tribes of the son of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying Israel shall be your name. For Rufus stones, he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold 2 measures of seed. Then he arranged the wood and cut the ox and the pieces and laid it. On the wood. And he said fill 4 pitchers with water and forward on the burnt offering. And on the wood. He said do it a second time and they did it. They did it a second time and he said do it a third time and they did it a third time and the water flowed around the altar. And he also filled the trench with water. Elijah, saying I don't want any excuses. I don't want you to. At the end of this saying. But you know, because of it was out in the sun all day they caught fire. He's taken away every single excuse that they could give for why God? Was not God. So he drenched it. And if you've ever tried to start a fire in a camper with wet wood that is wet. Good luck at best you get some smoke. At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the Prophet came here and said, O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, for they let it be known that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have all done all these things. At your work. You see, Elijah is not seeking for the world to. Know that he's God. Be seeking that the people of God might know that God is God. What a shame. I think we. Should spend our efforts and time and money and all these other things to communicate the gospel through a world that doesn't know him, and instead he's having to read. When the people of God. Saying God. I want them to know who you are and that you sent me. Answer me, O Lord, answer me that this people may know that you are. O Lord our God, and that you have turned their heart back again. And see me saying I want you to show that you're God. I want them to see that I am a prophet, but I want their hearts turned back. That should be our desire. To have those who claim that they once knew God to turn their hearts back to him. For those who never knew him to burn their hearts to him, that should be our purpose. He isn't there. To mock them. To mock the false God so that their hearts might be turned back to God. When the fire fell. Of the Lord in the fire of the Lord fell on the and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trenches. God completely. Consumed the offering, the altar and all the water. It wasn't just a little bit of. A match. It was a complete fire. Of consummation. And when all the people saw it? They fell on their faces and they said the Lord he is God the Lord. He is. They finally saw the truth. We had men and women to show their faith by refusing. That dictates. Of non believers. And we now see one who's challenging the people of God to return. Back their hearts to him. And sometimes that's what we have to do. We have to spend.
As much time. Hitting the people who claim to know God. To actually live as if he's God. Which opinion do you have? The one that just living this life is good enough, or the one that following God is the ultimate. Did I tell you this? You may live. Your best life now. Walking with God. Is your best. And walking with him in eternity is even greater still. You can live a life of. Of a billionaire. But you only live that life a short time. God offers a life of eternity. Then Elijah said to them, seize the prophets of bail. Do not let. One of them escape, so they seize them and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kidron and slew them there. We might say, oh, that's pretty harsh. We are told. We are to love our enemies. And I believe it. And I try to do it. It's difficult at times I understand. But I can't say that it's not in the scriptures and I'm not one of those who say just because I don't like it doesn't mean it's not there. I'm going to give you some homework. Does the scripture ever tell you the? Love the enemies of God. We're supposed to love Oren. But you see, these profits have turned the hearts away from God's people. They deserve what they've got. I'm not sorry for. As far as I'm concerned, using my analogy, they just got pancake. And God's border touch. The end of the context is here. Elijah then. And says. They have. You can take off. But I'm going to pray. And I'm going to pray that there be rain. Well, you see that I told Elijah to pray for no rain and now he's saying 3 and. 1/2 years later. Pray for rain. Elijah goes. And he he presents himself at a prayer. A little differently, most people say when we pray we or on our knees, or we raise our hands to the ceilings, or we close our eyes and we bow our heads. We are all these things, or sometimes even when we're that desperate, we fall out prostrate with our face to the ground, saying God help me. The Lodge is going to take a form of prayer. It would be very difficult for me at this stage because my gut, my diaphragm, would get in the way. But basically. Fence down. And puts his head between his knees. I could breathe very long if I did that. So Elijah must either been a thin man or was in extremely good shape. So he. Takes that posture of prayer, and he prays that God would bring rain. And nothing happened. He sends his his attending out. Nothing's happened. He does 7 times. Shows you a man of persistence. All too often we well, I prayed once. Nobody told or lied to the pray. Seven times. And then the attendant goes. I see a cloud about. The size of a man's fist out in the distance. Keep going. This is going. To be a lottery. So they start taking off and they have and it's Chariots going down the road and whatever. And all of a sudden. That's why it should be a great movie. Running faster than the chariot. And overtakes the chariot. And runs past it. You see, you can't. You can't make movies better than this. So no. The Bible. Thousands of years old. It's it's great stories. That are true. And you would think, OK, there's this. Great mountain top experience. Elijah just faced 850 profits, defeated them. That the peoples that turned their hearts back to the Lord. And everything is wonderful. The queen, his name is Jezebel. Issues a contract on his life. And Elijah gets depressed. And hides out in the Cape. And he's going. Oh, well, his. I'm the only one. Just had a great revival. I'm the only one left. You just killed 850 profit. Somebody ought to ask you what are? You doing? He goes. I'm going to Disneyland. No, he's hanging out in a cave. Now I understand. Because sometimes when you're used by God, there is this sense of. This mountaintop experience many times, if you've gone on retreat or religious retreat or. And you feel really close to God and everything is awesome and I'm going to live this way forever. And then you come down and you live 15 minutes in life and all of a sudden you're just like. Life suck.
You were just experiencing that. Yeah, I know. But whatever. And that's where Elijah, he just had the mountain top experience. Of anyone's life. And now he's hanging out in a. Cave because one woman. But you should not. When God comes to. Doesn't come to him in an earthquake. Or storm or great wind. Comes to him and is still swallow boy. It says. Elijah, they're not alone. I have more than 100 profits. Who have not bowed the need to bail. We're here as well. And there are times when we may feel like we're all alone. That no one else cares about God and whatever. I got people you don't know. Doing things that you don't know. I will add to this is even. If we don't. We still should continue to serve the Lord Harkon. Whether he takes our life or spares our life, whether we're in a cave. Or in a palace. Because he's worthy. And yes. Sometimes God has called us to take a stand against those who aren't believers. And sometimes he calls us to take a stand against those who say. They are belief. We need, whether it's the world. Or the church. They need to be faithful to him, consistent to him knowing the word of God, declaring the word of God and acting like the world. There have been many people who have said. If Christians lived their life as if Jesus rose from the dead, then maybe other people would believe. It as well. You see Satan. The mischievous. He doesn't get us to do things that are obviously. He just distorts the word of God just. To say. You can compromise on this. You can compromise. What I mean by love is this. What I'm bringing our acceptance is this. What I mean by tolerance is this, and all of a sudden. The best expression, and I don't mean I mean this as a compliment. There was a A. African American pastor who came and Priest Revival. At this church. Many, many, many, many, many decades ago. And he touched on one of the subjects that nobody ever wants to hear on, and it's on tithing. And he would say, you know, people would say you could deduct. Your taxes. And you could deduct. Living expenses. You can deduct this and it goes pretty soon you deduct it all and the Lord had nothing. Passively sane tried to do with our faith. You don't really have to believe that. You really don't have to believe it. You really don't have to. You can deduct off, you know. Jesus really did say that. And Jesus really didn't mean that. And Jesus was something that he never showed in the scriptures and suddenly. There's no Bible. As you deduct it all. There's nothing. We need to take a stand for the word.
This, as Elijah had done. And hopefully not that we can say I'm right and are I a wonderful person. But to get the people of God, to repent and to turn their hearts back to him. Wouldn't that be a glorious day? And all God's people said.