Suffering and Deliverance (Part 22) - Elijah


1. Elijah A. God delivered Elijah from starvation. i. Elijah prophesied that it would not rain for 3.5 years (1Ki 17:1 c/w Jam 5:17). ii. The LORD sent Elijah into the wilderness and gave him water from a brook and food via ravens morning and evening (1Ki 17:2-6). iii. After the brook dried up God sent Elijah to Zidon to be sustained by a widow (1Ki 17:7-9). iv. Elijah asked the widow for a morsel of bread only to find out that she was destitute having only a handful of meal and a little oil to make her and her son their last meal before they would die (1Ki 17:10-12). v. Elijah told her to make him a little cake first and then make one for her and her son, assuring her that the barrel of meal and the oil would not run out until the LORD sent rain (1Ki 17:13-14). vi. The woman did what Elijah said by faith, and the meal and the oil did not fail (1Ki 17:15-16). vii. There are some lessons we can learn from this. a. A true man of God will say and do things which God commands him to, even though doing so will cause himself harm and loss. b. When a man of God preaches things which cost him financially, God will provide for him by other means. (i) On numerous occasions I have preached things and made decisions in the church, knowing that doing so would cost me a large portion of my income. (ii) And each time the Lord provided for my needs. c. God can provide for our needs by miraculous means. d. God can provide for our needs and deliver us from death in the middle of a famine or a depression (Psa 33:18-19). e. Even in the most difficult times, if we give to the Lord first and ourselves second, God will take care of us and provide for us (Pro 3:9-10; Mat 6:31-33). f. God will not let His faithful saints starve or go in want (Psa 37:19, 25; Psa 34:9-10; Pro 10:3). g. God can provide through unlikely sources. h. God will allow us to go through hardship to test our faith (Deut 8:16). B. God delivered Elijah from being killed by Ahab and Jezebel. i. Ahab and been trying to hunt down and kill Elijah for a long time because he blamed him for the drought (1Ki 18:10). ii. Elijah met with Ahab and told him to bring the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the groves for a challenge to see who the true God was, Baal or the LORD (1Ki 18:17-24). iii. The LORD sent down fire from heaven showing that He was the true God (1Ki 18:36-38). iv. Elijah slew the 450 prophets of Baal (1Ki 18:40). v. When Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah had killed the prophets of Baal she vowed that she would kill him (1Ki 19:1-2). vi. Elijah fled to Beersheba for his life (1Ki 19:3). a. He then went a day's journey into the wilderness and asked God to kill him (1Ki 19:4). b. The LORD appeared to Elijah and communed with him when he was very depressed and hopeless (1Ki 19:9-14). c. God sent him to Damascus to anoint Hazael king over Syria, Jehu king over Israel, and Elisha prophet in his stead (1Ki 19:15-16). d. The LORD comforted him by telling him that He had reserved 7,000 in Israel who had not worshiped Baal (1Ki 19:17-18). e. The LORD had delivered Elijah out of the hand of Ahab and Jezebel. vii. After Jezebel had Naboth the Jezreelite murdered, the LORD sent Elijah to pronounce a death sentence on Ahab and Jezebel (1Ki 21:17-24). a. Ahab and Jezebel died just like Elijah prophesied (1Ki 22:34-38; 2Ki 9:30-37). b. Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire (2Ki 2:11). viii. There are some lessons we can learn from this. a. We will sometimes be persecuted unjustly and blamed for things for which we were not responsible. b. God will allow us to be outnumbered by our enemies so that we have no possibility of saving ourselves, and we therefore must rely on the LORD for deliverance. c. Great victories in life will often be followed by great suffering, affliction, and depression. d. God will allow us to be cast down but not destroyed (2Co 4:9). e. In our unhappy circumstances God will use us to do great things for Him. f. God will comfort us when we are depressed. g. The LORD will destroy our enemies and deliver us both temporally and eternally to His heavenly kingdom.
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