Prophets and the Baals

When Solomon died his son, Rehoboam split the kingdom and he was left with only two tribes, they were called Judah. The rebel Rehoboam took the other ten tribes and they were called Israel. During this time, God sent many prophets to tell the people of their sins of worshipping other Gods. One of the kings of Israel was Ahab, a very wicked king.  During the reign of Ahab, God sent the prophet Elijah to denounce their idolatry.

Today’s bible study comes from the book of 1 Kings. 1 Kings 18.

Today’s story starts off with three main characters. We have Ahab wo we have learned is a wicked King.  We have the prophet Elijah and finally we have Obadiah who we will learn is a devout believer but also a trusted servant to Ahab.

The lord told Elijah to go present yourself to King Ahab. The lord said that he would send rain because Samaria was suffering from a drought. (1 Kings 18:1-2)

During this time, King Ahab summoned his palace administrator Obadiah. While Jezebel was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them.  He had put fifty each in two caves for their protection.  He also supplied them with food and water. (1 Kings 18:3-4)

King Ahab had sent Obadiah on an errand. While travelling he ran into the Prophet Elijah who had a message for him to take back to King Ahab. The message was to tell the King that Elijah was here.  Obadiah was afraid to deliver the message because if the King could not find the Prophet Elijah he would surely kill Obadiah.  (1 Kings 18:5-15)

The message was received by King and he went and found the prophet. The King called the prophet “Troubler”.  Elijah responded that he had had not caused any trouble for Israel, but the King’s family had abandoned the laws of the Lord and followed the Baals. (1 Kings 18;16-18)

Elijah then told the King to summon all the people on the Mount Carmel. As well bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table. King Ahab complied. (1 Kings 18:19-20)

As everyone gathered on Mount Carmel, Elijah gave everyone a choice to follow the Lord or the Baals whoever they thought was God. With no response, Elijah continued by stating that he was last remaining prophet of the Lord while the Baals still have four hundred and fifty prophets.  The suggested solution was to get two bulls and each side would select a bull, cut it in pieces and put it on the wood but no fire will be started.  Once completed the people will yell out the name of their God and the bull that has fire is God’s true prophet.  The Baals tried all day to get their God to light the fire but to no avail.  Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord, instructed water to be poured over the sacrifice and then prayed and the God’s fire burned up Elijah’s sacrifice.                             (1 Kings 18:21-39)

After proving who was the true Prophet, he ordered the people to seize the prophets of Baal. They were taken to the Kishon Valley where they were slaughtered.  The Prophet then told the King to go eat and drink for he heard heavy rain. (1 Kings 18:40-41)

King Ahab went off to eat and drink while the Prophet went to the top of Carmel. He was praying to his Lord and told his servant to go and look at the sea and the servant reported there was nothing there.  Elijah had his servant complete this task seven times and on the last time he reported that there was a small cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea. He told the servant to tell King Ahab to hook up his chariot and head to Jezreel before the rain stops you and Elijah with the power of the Lord ran in front of Ahab.  As promised in verse one, God caused a heavy rain. (1 Kings 18:42-46)

Questions to be answered:

  1. What did we learn about God in this story?
  2. What do we learn about man/ourselves in this story?
  3. What did you learn new in this story?
  4. What should I do differently because of this story?

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