Ahab has been looking for Elijah because he wants to kill him. He has personally gone looking for Elijah with Obadiah, a devout believer who is in charge of Ahab’s palace. By God’s grace, Elijah has met Obadiah instead of Ahab. Elijah has asked Obadiah to arrange a meeting with Ahab so he can tell the king that God is going to send the rain once again.
1 Kings 18:16-17 “So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, ‘Is that you, you troubler of Israel/’”
King Ahab calls Elijah a troublemaker, the cause of all of Israel’s trouble. In order to get Israel’s attention, the Lord has held back the rain for three years and the nation is suffering through a devastating famine and drought. King Ahab is blaming it all on Elijah.
How convenient it is to live in a world that doesn’t believe in sin, in a world where truth is relevant not absolute and it always depends on the times and the circumstances; in a world where nothing is wrong because everything is right and should be tolerated as long as no one gets hurt; in a world where everyone is basically good and no one is evil. How convenient it is to always be the victim, and when others confront you they are considered to be narrow-minded bigots.
1 Kings 18:18a “‘I have not made trouble for you,’ Elijah replied, ‘But you and your father’s family have.’”
Jesus commissioned His church to preach the gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sin until He returned. Sin is not a four letter word. Preachers don’t’ have to be afraid to say it. They don’t be afraid to call it what it is. Ahab, you and your fathers have sinned and you need to repent.
1 Kings 18:18b “’You have abandoned the Lord’s commands ad have followed the Baals.’”
“You have abandoned the Lord’s Commandments.” You’ve abandoned the word of God. You no longer believe it is the word of God. You believe the words of other gods are just as meaningful.
The Lord has made His word and His name more important to Him than anything else. The Bible is without error. The Bible is never wrong, we are. We may not like what it says. We may disagree with it. We may ignore it. We may completely reject it. We may refuse to believe it and take our chances with something else. But in the end, we’ll all be judged by it and held accountable for what we’ve done with it.
“You… have followed the Baals.” You set up an altar for Baal in the temple you built for Baal, the most popular god in the world, the god of lust, greed and pleasure. The truth is that Baal isn’t real and he isn’t a god. He can’t speak. He can’t move. He has no power. He has never created anything. In fact he’s the one who’s been created out of someone else’s corrupt imagination. He’s not really there except in the minds of those who have chosen to believe in him.
We can make a god out of anything, but that doesn’t make it God. If we reject the God of the Bible and chose to trust in someone or something else, we have no God at all. All religions are not worshipping the same God. All roads do not lead to the same God. The Bible says there is only one way and it’s a very narrow way, a very specific way.
There is only one name by which we must be saved and that name is not Allah. It’s not Buddha and it’s not the Universe. That name is Jesus, the name that is higher than every other name. At the name at of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He alone is Lord of all.
Those who have been trusting in other gods are about to discover that the path they’ve been walking on is coming to a dead end. The path that has always seemed so right to them is actually going to end in death.
1 Kings 18:19 “Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mont Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.’”
“Meet me on Mt. Carmel.” Why did Elijah choose Mt. Carmel as the place to have a confrontation with the prophets of Baal and the Prophets of Asherah? Carmel means “the garden land.” It contained the most fertile and productive land in the country. It was the last place to be affected by the three year drought. It was actually considered to be Baal’s garden land. Baal had an altar there. The God of Israel had an altar there too but it was in ruins because it hadn’t been used for a long time.
For the past three years, the prophets of Baal have been offering sacrifices to Baal and crying, “Please make it rain. Why won’t you make it rain? Don’t let your garden die!” And there’s been no response. Now there’s about to be a confrontation, a throwdown between Baal and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the “I am that I am.” It’s happening in Baal’s garden but it’s going to be on God’s terms. In the end, everything is done on God’s terms.