"And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's."
(2 Chronicles 20:15 KJV)
The story of good king Jehoshaphat, who became King of Judah at the age of 35 years and reigned for 25 years, is a story of some mistakes and some wonderful successes as he led the kingdom back to the worship of Our Awesome God (2 Chronicles 18-20). He destroyed the groves for the worship of Baal and Ashtoreth (2 Chronicles 17:6) and he cleaned up the Temple in Jerusalem for the worship of Our Awesome God. God gave him peace and riches because his heart was seeking the Lord,
Then King Jehoshaphat allowed King Ahab to talk him into going to war with him against a common enemy of both countries (2 Chronicles 18:3). King Jehoshaphat should have known that God would not like this alliance with an evil enemy such as King Ahab. In fact, they had trouble finding a prophet of God in Israel under King Ahab and then the prophet told them they would lose (2 Chronicles 18:19-22).. But he still went to war where King Ahab was killed and their forces scattered by the enemy.
King Jehoshaphat was not home long when an alliance of enemies appeared at his borders and he knew he couldn't win against that big an army. So he declared a day of fasting for his nation and prayed to Our Awesome God who answered him in 2 Chronicles 20:15-17. All Jerusalem and visitors from surrounding countries watched as the enemies destroyed themselves. No one was left alive and it took 3 days to collect all the valuables from the enemies’ possessions and take them into Jerusalem. Judah had peace all the remaining days of Jehoshaphat's reign.
Jehoshaphat never completely turned his people back to the worship of Our Awesome God. They saw miracles but not all worshipped God. We sadly are the same; we don't all worship Our Awesome God. We have the Holy Bible and the miracles from God in answer to our prayers, but we still don't all worship our creator God who keeps this world and all the planets in their proper places. Our Father God wants all to worship Him and one day we will all bend our knees saying He is Lord, but not all will live in heaven for eternity. Will you be in heaven for eternity?
Join us at LWBC every Sunday at 9:30 AM, we have small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM, we meet in the sanctuary for Worship Service. Sunday at 6:00 PM we have Bible Study along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM. Our programs include a Wednesday Prayer Meeting and Bible Study but are varied as we teach and preach from Our Awesome God's Holy Bible. We love visitors!
"But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers."
(1 Kings 19:4 KJV)
Our Awesome God sent Elijah, the Prophet, to rescue the Israelites from their moral and spiritual decline into Baal worship. Elijah had confronted and defeated the prophets of Baal, but confronting wicked Queen Jezebel was too much because she threatened to kill him for killing her false prophets.
Elijah didn't keep in mind Our Awesome God's faithfulness to him but panicked, ran and hid himself (1 Kings 19:4). Elijah was depressed and felt a failure because the prophets of God were gone, the worship in temple of God suspended. He felt a failure and that God had left him. But Our Awesome God sent His angel to feed Elijah and then God asked him why he was there. God then sent him to anoint two kings and a new prophet named Elisha to take his place (1 Kings 19:15-16).
Before he left the cave he was hiding in, God reminded him with an earthquake and fire that God could and would do anything to protect him. Elijah remembered Our Awesome God's faithfulness, protection and provision of food. He would sustain Elijah because He could do anything. So he rested and returned to the missions God had for him, a wiser and more mature man of God ready to serve Him.
We, like Elijah after stress and depression, need to rest in Our Awesome God, remember His faithfulness and trust Him for the future. We need to turn to God and drop our doubting and depression. God is there in our lives all the time helping us, especially, in our times of stress and doubt. He knows all and sees all. He is in control. You need to follow His guidance. He brings victory when His advice is followed carefully.
Come join us at our church or join any church that preaches and teaches that Jesus Christ, died for you and took your sins upon Himself and arose the third day to sit by God, interceding for you when you sin. Tomorrow, 8/20/15, #4 Chariots of Fire will conclude the life of Elijah.
Our church is a loving church that wants to help others to a better understanding of Our Awesome God and His love, mercy and grace for all of mankind. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we love others while preaching and teaching from our Holy Bible about God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Our church has a Bible Study at 9:30 AM on Sunday and Worship Service at 10:30 AM and then at 6:00 PM there is another Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM along with AWANA for children (September through May). We love visitors!
"And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water...Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench."
(1 Kings 18:35, 38 KJV)
Elijah set down the challenge for Our Awesome God. The time of decision had come. In each of our lives we have the same decision to make as to whether we follow God or not. But Ahab and all the people of Israel were summoned to Mount Carmel to meet with God. The invitation was also extended to the rabble that called themselves "prophets of Baal". The Bible tells us that there were 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah, a total of 850 against Our Awesome God.
They met at Mt. Carmel. The scene was set and the challenge was issued. "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word." (1 Kings 18:21 KJV) Elijah did not leave open any other options. There were only two alternatives, just as there are only two alternatives today. We follow Our Awesome God or follow Satan. There is but one God and, because it was void, He created all from the inanimate objects to the animate objects, He created it ALL.
Then Elijah asked the Baal prophets to set up their altar to Baal, take their bullock and prepare it on the altar and then call for fire to burn it. The prophets of Baal called there god from morning until the time of the evening offering but nothing happened though they yelled, danced and cut themselves. No voice and no fire! Nothing happened!
Elijah cut his bullock, put it on wood and then had them pour water all over the meat and altar three times, filling the trench around it. Then Elijah prayed to Our Awesome God and God sent a fire to consume the burnt sacrifice, the stone altar, even the dust and all the water in the trench -- all were consumed (1 Kings 18:38). Immediately, the people made their choice!!
See you here tomorrow, "#3 Elijah Is Stressed." What did he do next? He became a great prophet!
We invite you to our church services on Sunday morning. Bible Study is at (9:30 AM) and Worship Service at (10:30 AM). Then again, Sunday evening (6:00 PM) there is Bible Study along with AWANA for children (September through May) which goes until 7:30 PM. Wednesday evening (7:00 PM), there is a Prayer Meeting and Bible Study. When you come, ask about the home Bible studies during the week, the choir and the Prayer Team. We love visitors and would enjoy meeting you and telling you about Our Awesome God!
"And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word."
(1 Kings 17:1 KJV)
Elijah stood up boldly for Our Awesome God in a time when idolatry had swept his Israel. In fact, his name means "My God is Yah(weh)." The false god he opposed was Baal, the favorite deity of Jezebel, wife of King Ahab of Israel (869-850 BC). To please Jezebel, Ahab had altars erected to Baal, and allowed the queen to murder God's prophets.
The Scripture above is the first mention of Elijah in the Bible and he was telling King Ahab of a coming drought because of the prophets that were killed and the altars to Baal he had built. Elijah is told by Our Awesome God to run to the Brook, Cherith to escape Queen Jezebel's wrath and where God has told the ravens feed him (1 Kings 17:6-7). When the Brook, Cherith dried up, God sent him to a widow in Sidon whom he helped and stayed with. He brought the widow's son back to life with God's help (1 Kings 17:22). God was using Elijah even as he was in hiding from Queen Jezebel and King Ahab. Elijah was slowly being taught to depend completely on God for all his needs and wants.
After three years of drought, Our Awesome God sent Elijah to King Ahab in Samaria where there was a famine. Elijah spoke with King Ahab of Israel, telling him to gather 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah and send them to Mount Carmel with all Israel (1 Kings 18:19). The Bible doesn't say whether Ahab knew God was going to challenge Baal or even lift the drought or not.
Notice that King Ahab didn't argue about gathering the people Elijah asked him to bring to Mount Carmel. He did everything Elijah asked because nothing else had stopped the drought and famine. Had he learned that Our Awesome God is Supreme? Read our website tomorrow, 8/18/15, when the conclusion of this incident with Elijah will be told in "#2 Heavenly Fire" or you might just read 1 Kings, chapter 18. Reading the Bible and praying are very important to Our Awesome God and God's children.
LWBC is a Bible believing church that tries to live Jesus Christ's commandment to "love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 KJV) Join us this Sunday as we learn more about Our Awesome God and how to teach others from His Holy Bible. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets along with AWANA for children (September through May) which goes until 7:30 PM. There is more during the week. We love visitors!
"And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made."
(1 Kings 18:26 KJV)
Baal was the lord of the Canaanite religion and was seen in the thunderstorms. This was one of the main religions of Canaan that Our Awesome God did not want His people involved in. Baal worship in Canaan revolved around two themes that represented the conception of Baal his worshipers held. Baal was both the sun-god and storm-god. He was worshiped as sun-god when the people wished to express thanks and gratitude for light, warmth and fertility. Worship of Baal as storm-god took place to appease the destructive nature of Baal, seen in the droughts and storms that devastated the vegetation of the worshipers. The efforts to appease Baal whenever adverse conditions prevailed culminated in the sacrifice of human beings, usually the firstborn of the one offering the sacrifice. The victims were burnt alive, a practice in the Old Testament termed, “to pass through the fire” (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 21:6 ). Baal worship practice was as diverse as the communities in which he was worshiped.
Baal worship was well established in early Canaan and was always infiltrating the Israelite worship of Our Awesome God, as God knew it would. Again, if the Israelites would have killed or driven out all the inhabitants of the cities of Canaan until none was left as God told them to do, they would not have married their women nor have been enticed into worshipping Baal.
Today, God's people can be pulled away from the worship of Our Awesome God by cults that worship idols or their pride in their own works to get to heaven. Idols now are more than just statues or paintings. Idols include anything more important to you than worshipping Our Awesome God and His son, Jesus Christ. Do you have an idol or cult you worship? Consider what God did to the worship of Baal in 1 Kings 18 (KJV). It is extinct as a formal religion today but most of the features are still practiced in our world. (See http://www.propheticalert.org/baalworshipindisguise.htm)
Learn more about Our Awesome God by reading His Holy Bible, praying to Him and worshipping in a church which preaches and teaches the Holy Bible. Join us at LWBC every Sunday at 9:30 AM, we have small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM, we meet in the sanctuary for Worship Service. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM we have Bible Study along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM. Our programs include Home Bible Studies and a Wednesday Prayer Meeting but are varied as we teach and preach from Our Awesome God's Holy Bible. We love visitors and practice the "love one another" commandment to all.
Flo & Bill