Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I Kings 17:1, The Faith of Elijah Serving the Lord, by John.

The Faith of Elijah Serving the Lord.
I Kings 17:1-6

1. Years ago a minister whose name I can't remember preached a sermon on this text, and he titled it, "God's Winged Waitresses" I believe. I never heard, or read it, but isn't the title interesting?
2. If you don't really know the Bible, you might think he was going to talk about angels.
3. I suspect he talked about the prophet Elijah and related him to that particular time many, many generations ago.
4. There are several things we need to recognize in this Scripture concerning God and us.

I. When we serve the Lord, we can expect Him to lead us.

1. King Ahab disobeyed everything the Lord told him as far as we know, and led the people astray.
2. The Israelites started marrying women outside of their race as far back as Moses.
(1) Moses married the daughter of a priest of Midian. Her name was Zipporah.
(2) God did not frown on his marriage. I think the reason was that her father, Jethro the priest of Midian, was a godly man.
3. You remember in Genesis 25, Esau married two Hittite women, and his parents were displeased.
(1) God later commanded the Israelites not to marry outsiders, and He gave a good reason for it.
(2) God said that they would cause Israel to sin by drawing their husbands into idolatry.
(3) If you notice today, many men who marry outside their own church join their wife's church.
a. I'm not condemning that, but marrying any non-Christian is asking for trouble.
b. It may be that you can win them to the Lord. I remember a lady who praised the Lord because her husband of 39 years trusted Jesus and was baptized. It does happen, and their marriage was his salvation!
(4) It's part of our human nature for husband and wife to want to be together, and our Maker knows all about it!
4. Ahab married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians.
(1) She led Ahab further astray than he already was.
(2) She promoted the worship of Baal and Asherah, and by the time Elijah spoke to Ahab, she had killed most of the Lord's prophets.
5. We need to know that when the Lord leads, our pathway may be life-threatening!
(1) For Elijah to face Ahab with God's message took a tremendous amount of courage!
(2) He could do it, and he did, because he believed God would take care of him, and God did!
6. Listen. When you follow God, He will lead, but don't expect the path to be a stroll in the park!
(1) Believe God will take care of you.
(2) Believe what He asks you to do is worth it!
(3) If you do you will be victorious in God's eyes although you may not be in your own eyes.

II. When the Lord leads, He also provides.

1. First, the Lord sees the future, and He knows what is needed.
(1) That's why He instructed Elijah to go to the Kereth Ravine. (If you are using the KJ, it's Chereth which should be pronounced Kereth.)
(2) God told Elijah he could drink from the brook, and that He had commanded the Ravens to feed him!
(3) I've had people tell me that they wouldn't want to eat anything a dirty old crow brought! But they overlook God's cleansing power! What could be cleaner than anything God has cleansed?
2. It's easy for us to fall into the habit of complaining about everything we have.
(1) Our old clunker of a car, or that "Piece of junk" lawnmower, or the "starter" house we live in.
(2) Most of us complain about the good food we have to eat if the menu doesn't change with every meal.
(3) The Hebrews did that in the desert. They didn't like the manna after they had eaten it a while, and they wanted the leeks and garlic of Egypt!
(4) They cried out to God for meat, and he sent them quail until it made them sick at their stomachs just to look at a quail.
3. We need to thank God for all of the good things He gives us whether it is simple, complex, scant, or overwhelmingly plenteous!
4. We need to guard ourselves from being unhappy when things don't go the way we thought best! ill. If Naaman had not followed the advice of his servants, he would have died a leper! He didn't like it when Elijah didn't put on a show in healing him. Elijah told him to go baptize himself 7 times in the river Jordan. At the urging of his servants he did, and God cleansed him!
5. God does provide. It up to us to obey! And be blessed!

III. The Big Picture of God's leadership is usually unseen by His servants.

1. Elijah probably never even thought to ask God what to do IF the brook dried up!
2. His faith in God precluded that God would take care of him regardless of what happened! That ought to be the way you and I see things, is it?
3. The brook did dry up, and God immediately instructed Elijah to go to Zarephath because He had prepared a widow there to feed him. (Zarephath was outside Israel where Ahab would not find him.)
4. From what happened to Elijah here, we should see that God sees the future, and God takes care of us when we are serving Him!
5. We don't need to look into the future any more than the ability God gives us allows us to see.
(1) Our future is in His hands, and live or die, we will be better off serving the Lord.
(2) That's what Paul meant when he said, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!" (Philippians 1:21)

IV. When we serve the Lord, we should expect great things to happen.

1. Most us do expect great things to happen, don't we?
2. I'm sure Elijah did, and somewhere along the way, God told him what He was going to do, and how.
3. Our problem is, we expect God's work to happen exactly as we envision it!
(1) A deacon and I visited a neighboring man. He accepted Christ, and we invited him to come to our church. He didn't. He went to the church where his parents went, and that was wonderful to me. That was okay. I knew the angels in heaven were rejoicing over that soul that was saved. (Luke 15:10).
(2) But our church threatened to fire me because the man didn't join OUR church!
(3) When we are doing God's work, we don't have a clue how God has planned it! But when it happens, we should not complain, but rejoice!
4. We need to be ready to go with God's flow! We need to be ready to say, "Lord, I expected it to happen like this, but Your will be done!"

V. When we serve the Lord, we should expect everlasting good to come from it.

1. Jesus said, John 15:1-5 (read).
2. Our committed service, and God's love and power always combine to bring everlasting fruit.
3. At the same time, there will most likely be an Ahab and a Jezebel waiting in the wings to try to bring us grief.
4. They can cause us grief, but we will be the victors if we stand with Jesus!
5. Even when Elijah's fear of Jezebel overcame his faith temporarily, God took care of him and taught him again, that we can depend on our heavenly Father.
(1) Good will over come the bad God's enemies do.
(2) Their evil will cause us to be strong in the Spirit of the Lord!
(3) Our faith will grow because of the testing God allows.
(4) Elijah never heard of Romans 8:28, but he got the message anyway, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
6. Our obedience always glorifies our Father, and always results in everlasting good when we serve the Lord!


1. Our relationship with God must be as His Own child!
2. We become his children by trusting Jesus.
3. Have you ever deliberately put yourself in His hands? You can do that right now.
4. When you trust Jesus, God will lead you and provide for you.
5. Great things will happen, and you will see it with your own eyes, and the good you see will last forever!
6. You can deliberately trust Jesus while we pray!


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