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1 Kings 17-19

1 Kings 17-19

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1 Kings 17-19

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  1. 1 Kings 17-19 Mount Carmel to the Mount of Transfiguration

  2. Chronology

  3. Chronology

  4. Chronology

  5. “My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself...Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of His presence? The incarnation is the supreme example. It leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins.” – C.S. Lewis

  6. “A prophet named Elijah, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to King Ahab, ‘In the name of the LORD, the living God of Israel, whom I serve, I tell you that there will be no dew or rain for the next two or three years until I say so.’ Then the LORD said to Elijah, ‘Leave this place and go east and hide yourself near Cherith Brook, east of the Jordan. The brook will supply you with water to drink, and I have commanded ravens to bring you food there.’” (1 Kings 17:1-4)

  7. “After some time, in the third year of the drought, the LORD said to Elijah, ‘Go and present yourself to King Ahab, and I will send rain.’ So Elijah started out. The famine in Samaria was at its worst, so Ahab called in Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. (Obadiah was a devout worshiper of the LORD, and when Jezebel was killing the LORD's prophets, Obadiah took a hundred of them, hid them in caves in two groups of fifty, and provided them with food and water.)” (1 Kings 18:1-4)

  8. “Ahab said to Obadiah, ‘Let us go and look at every spring and every stream bed in the land to see if we can find enough grass to keep the horses and mules alive. Maybe we won't have to kill any of our animals.’ They agreed on which part of the land each one would explore, and set off in different directions. As Obadiah was on his way, he suddenly met Elijah. He recognized him, bowed low before him, and asked, ‘Is it really you, sir?’ ‘Yes, I’m Elijah,’ he answered. ‘Go and tell your master the king that I am here.’ Obadiah answered, ‘What have I done that you want to put me in danger of being killed by King Ahab?’” (1 Kings 18:5-9)

  9. “By the living LORD, your God, I swear that the king has made a search for you in every country in the world. Whenever the ruler of a country reported that you were not in his country, Ahab would require that ruler to swear that you could not be found. And now you want me to go and tell him that you are here? What if the spirit of the LORD carries you off to some unknown place as soon as I leave? Then, when I tell Ahab that you are here and he can't find you, he will put me to death. Remember that I have been a devout worshiper of the LORD ever since I was a boy. Haven't you heard that when Jezebel was killing the prophets of the LORD I hid a hundred of them in caves, in two groups of fifty, and supplied them with food and water? So how can you order me to go and tell the king that you are here? He will kill me!’ Elijah answered, ‘By the living LORD Almighty, whom I serve, I promise that I will present myself to the king today.’” (1 Kings 18:10-15)

  10. “So Obadiah went to King Ahab and told him, and Ahab set off to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw him, he said, ‘So there you are---the worst troublemaker in Israel!’ ‘I’m not the troublemaker,’ Elijah answered. ‘You are---you and your father. You are disobeying the LORD's commands and worshiping the idols of Baal. Now order all the people of Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel. Bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah who are supported by Queen Jezebel.’ So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and the prophets of Baal to meet at Mount Carmel.” (1 Kings 18:16-20)

  11. “Elijah went up to the people and said, ‘How much longer will it take you to make up your minds? If the LORD is God, worship him; but if Baal is God, worship him!’ But the people didn’t say a word. Then Elijah said, ‘I am the only prophet of the LORD still left, but there are 450 prophets of Baal. Bring two bulls; let the prophets of Baal take one, kill it, cut it in pieces, and put it on the wood---but don’t light the fire. I will do the same with the other bull. Then let the prophets of Baal pray to their god, and I will pray to the LORD, and the one who answers by sending fire---he is God.’ The people shouted their approval.” (1 Kings 18:21-24)

  12. “Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, ‘Since there are so many of you, you take a bull and prepare it first. Pray to your god, but don’t set fire to the wood.’ They took the bull that was brought to them, prepared it, and prayed to Baal until noon. They shouted, ‘Answer us, Baal!’ and kept dancing around the altar they had built. But no answer came. At noon Elijah started making fun of them: ‘Pray louder! He is a god! Maybe he is day-dreaming or relieving himself, or perhaps he’s gone off on a trip! Or maybe he’s sleeping, and you’ve got to wake him up!’ So the prophets prayed louder and cut themselves with knives and daggers, according to their ritual, until blood flowed. They kept on ranting and raving until the middle of the afternoon; but no answer came, not a sound was heard.” (1 Kings 18:25-29)

  13. “Then Elijah said to the people, ‘Come closer to me,’ and they all gathered around him. He set about repairing the altar of the LORD which had been torn down. He took twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes named for the sons of Jacob, the man to whom the LORD had given the name Israel. With these stones he rebuilt the altar for the worship of the LORD. He dug a trench around it, large enough to hold about four gallons of water. Then he placed the wood on the altar, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, ‘Fill four jars with water and pour it on the offering and the wood.’ They did so, and he said, ‘Do it again’---and they did. ‘Do it once more,’ he said---and they did. The water ran down around the altar and filled the trench.” (1 Kings 18:30-35)

  14. “At the hour of the afternoon sacrifice the prophet Elijah approached the altar and prayed, ‘O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove now that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant and have done all this at your command. Answer me, LORD, answer me, so that this people will know that you, the LORD, are God and that you are bringing them back to yourself.’ The LORD sent fire down, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones, scorched the earth and dried up the water in the trench. When the people saw this, they threw themselves on the ground and exclaimed, ‘The LORD is God; the LORD alone is God!’ Elijah ordered, ‘Seize the prophets of Baal; don’t let any of them get away!’ The people seized them all, and Elijah led them down to Kishon Brook and killed them. Then Elijah said to King Ahab, ‘Now, go and eat. I hear the roar of rain approaching.’” (1 Kings 18:36-41)

  15. “King Ahab told his wife Jezebel everything that Elijah had done and how he had put all the prophets of Baal to death. She sent a message to Elijah: ‘May the gods strike me dead if by this time tomorrow I don’t do the same thing to you that you did to the prophets.’ Elijah was afraid and fled for his life; he took his servant and went to Beersheba in Judah. Leaving the servant there, Elijah walked a whole day into the wilderness. He stopped and sat down in the shade of a tree and wished he would die. ‘It’s too much, LORD,’ he prayed. ‘Take away my life; I might as well be dead!’ He lay down under the tree and fell asleep.” (1 Kings 19:1-5)

  16. “Elijah was afraid and fled for his life” (GNB) • “And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life…”(1 Kings 19:3 KJV) • “When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there.” (1 Kings 19:3 MSG)

  17. “Suddenly an angel touched him and said, ‘Wake up and eat.’ He looked around and saw a loaf of bread and a jar of water near his head. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The LORD’s angel returned and woke him up a second time, saying, ‘Get up and eat, or the trip will be too much for you.’ Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days to Sinai, the holy mountain. There he went into a cave to spend the night. Suddenly the LORD spoke to him, ‘Elijah, what are you doing here?’ He answered, ‘LORD God Almighty, I have always served you---you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left---and they are trying to kill me!’” (1 Kings 19:6-10)

  18. “Go out and stand before me on top of the mountain,’ the LORD said to him. Then the LORD passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks---but the LORD was not in the wind. The wind stopped blowing, and then there was an earthquake---but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire---but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice. When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, ‘Elijah, what are you doing here?’ He answered, ‘LORD God Almighty, I have always served you---you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left---and they are trying to kill me.’” (1 Kings 19:11-14)

  19. “The LORD said, ‘Return to the wilderness near Damascus, then enter the city and anoint Hazael as king of Syria; anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and anoint Elisha…to succeed you as prophet…I still have seven thousand people alive in Israel---all those who are loyal to me and have not bowed to Baal or kissed his idol.’” (1 Kings 19:15-18)

  20. Elijah retraces the steps of Moses • “So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.” (1 Kings 19:8 NLT)

  21. Mt. Sinai • “Moses was taking care of the sheep of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. As he led the sheep to the far side of the desert, he came to Horeb, the mountain of God. (Exodus 3:1 GW) • “One day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, he led the flock across the desert and came to Sinai, the holy mountain.” (Exodus 3:1 GNB)

  22. Both Moses and Elijah enter a cave • Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days to Sinai, the holy mountain. There he went into a cave to spend the night. Suddenly the LORD spoke to him, "Elijah, what are you doing here?" (1 Kings 19:8-9)

  23. “Then Moses requested, ‘Please, let me see the dazzling light of your presence.’ The LORD answered, ‘I will make all my splendor pass before you and in your presence I will pronounce my sacred name. I am the LORD, and I show compassion and pity on those I choose. I will not let you see my face, because no one can see me and stay alive, but here is a place beside me where you can stand on a rock. When the dazzling light of my presence passes by, I will put you in an opening in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back but not my face.’” (Exodus 33:18-23)

  24. Moses and Elijah experience God’s presence • “All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD had come down on it in fire. The smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and all the people trembled violently.” (Exodus 19:18) • “When the people heard the thunder and the trumpet blast and saw the lightning and the smoking mountain, they trembled with fear and stood a long way off. They said to Moses, ‘If you speak to us, we will listen; but we are afraid that if God speaks to us, we will die.’ Moses replied, ‘Don’t be afraid…’” (Exodus 20:18-20 GNB)

  25. “Yahweh answers Elijah’s complaint by displaying the ‘theophanic triad’ of wind, earthquake an fire, as he did before Moses and the people of Israel, indicating his power and sovereignty.” • Richard Cohn “The Literary Logic of 1 Kings 17-19”, pg. 342

  26. Elijah and Moses both have a surprising revelation • “Then Moses requested, ‘Please, let me see the dazzling light (glory) of your presence.’” • “The LORD came down in a cloud, stood with him there, and pronounced his holy name, the LORD. The LORD then passed in front of him and called out, ‘I, the LORD, am a God who is full of compassion and pity, who is not easily angered and who shows great love and faithfulness. I keep my promise for thousands of generations and forgive evil and sin…’” (Exodus 34:5-7)

  27. God’s surprising revelation to Elijah • “Then the LORD passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks---but the LORD was not in the wind. The wind stopped blowing, and then there was an earthquake---but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire---but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice.” (1 Kings 19:11-12)

  28. “The soft whisper of a voice” • “a still small voice.” (KJV) • “the sound of a light whisper.” (CF Burney) • “the sound of a gentle whisper.” (NLT) • “a gentle light breeze.” (DeVries) • “a quiet, whispering voice.” (GW) • “sheer silence” (NRSV)

  29. “…to the extent that Elijah has counted on God’s power to prevail in the conflict with Baal, having articulated this view on Mount Carmel and watched the execution of this premise in a spectacular fashion, he looks for this expectation to be vindicated and to be the remedy for his sense of failure. However, what happens at Horeb does not take the form of an affirmation of Elijah’s prior paradigm. Instead, the theophany shatters the old framework or at least revises it, right down to its original Mosaic foundation. The message this time…is that…the reasons for the prophet’s confidence in God…

  30. “…must lie elsewhere, demanding of him a new perception and outlook. It is, as it were, as if Yahweh is repudiating precisely the features on which Elijah’s prior confidence was built before his very eyes.” • Sigve Tonstad, “The Limits of Power. Revisiting Elijah at Horeb”, pg 261 • “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit…” (Zechariah 4:6)

  31. “I'm the only one left, and they're trying to take my life.” • “The LORD told him… ‘I still have 7,000 people in Israel whose knees have not knelt to worship Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.’” (1 Kings 19:14-18)

  32. Further Moses-Elijah connections • “When the archangel Michael argued with the devil, they were arguing over the body of Moses. But Michael didn't dare to hand down a judgment against the devil. Instead, Michael said, ‘May the Lord reprimand you!’” (Jude 1:9) • “As they continued walking and talking, a fiery chariot with fiery horses separated the two of them, and Elijah went to heaven in a windstorm.” (2 Kings 2:11)

  33. The Transfiguration • “Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up a mountain to pray…And as He was praying, the appearance of His face was transformed, and His clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about His exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:28,29-31 NLT)

  34. “…the entire passage in Luke is embedded in a journey on the part of Jesus that appears to resemble and recapitulate the Exodus. Specifically, and central to this imagery, there is the transfiguration on the mountain, a speaking face to face with a divine or divinized figure, and the human partners in this conversation are the two characters who have been there before, Moses and Elijah.” - Tonstad, pg. 264

  35. “Luke’s account implies that in Moses and Elijah, Jesus meets with a twosome whose prior encounters had prepared them from the subject of the conversation…” – Tonstad, pg. 265

  36. “Jesus returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the desert, where he was tempted by the Devil for forty days. In all that time he ate nothing, so that he was hungry when it was over.” (Luke 4:1,2) • “The Devil said to him, ‘If you are God’s Son, order this stone to turn into bread.’” (Luke 4:3)

  37. “The Jewish authorities came back at him with a question, ‘What miracle can you perform to show us that you have the right to do this?’” (John 2:18)

  38. “Lord, do you wish us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did? But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. He said, ‘You do not know of what sort of spirit you are…’” (Luke 9:54-55 – Amplified)

  39. “Herod was very pleased when he saw Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been wanting to see him for a long time. He was hoping to see Jesus perform some miracle. So Herod asked Jesus many questions, but Jesus made no answer.” (Luke 23:8-9)

  40. “People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at Jesus: ‘You were going to tear down the Temple and build it back up in three days! Save yourself if you are God's Son! Come on down from the cross!’ In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and the elders made fun of him: ‘He saved others, but he cannot save himself ! Isn’t he the king of Israel? If he will come down off the cross now, we will believe in him! He trusts in God and claims to be God’s Son. Well, then, let us see if God wants to save him now!’” (Matthew 27:39-43)

  41. “This second beast performed great miracles; it made fire come down out of heaven to earth in the sight of everyone. And it deceived all the people living on earth by means of the miracles which it was allowed to perform in the presence of the first beast.” (Revelation 13:13-14 GNB)

  42. “On that same day two of Jesus’ followers were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them; they saw him, but somehow did not recognize him.

  43. Jesus said to them, ‘What are you talking about to each other, as you walk along?’ They stood still, with sad faces. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, ‘Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have been happening there these last few days?’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth,’ they answered.

  44. ‘This man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything he said and did. Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and he was crucified. And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened.’” (Luke 24:13-21)

  45. “Then Jesus said to them, ‘How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?’ And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets.” (Luke 24:25-27)

  46. “As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther; but they held him back, saying, ‘Stay with us; the day is almost over and it is getting dark.’ So he went in to stay with them. He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight.

  47. They said to each other, ‘Wasn't it like a fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?’ They got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others and saying, ‘The Lord is risen indeed!’” (Luke 24:28-34)