This is a S.S. lesson taught in my Pastor’s Bible Class in a series of 1 Kings. We hope you find it helpful and useful in your life and ministry. If you live in the area of our church, please join us as we study 1 Kings together. There are many lessons God wants us to learn from this great Old Testament book.
The “Show-Down” at Mt. Carmel
1 Kings 18:17-40
This is the account of the “face-off” between the true God of Israel and the false god of Baal on Mt. Carmel. A contest between good and evil. It is one of the most dramatic episodes in the Bible.
Will the True God Please Stand Up! [vs. 21, 24, 36-39]
I. The CONFRONTATION between Elijah and Ahab (vs. 16-19)
- The world always thinks it’s problems are because of preachers (vs. 17-18; Jer. 38:4; Luke 23:5; Acts 16:18-22; 24:5). The problem with the mayor of Houston is not preachers. The real trouble-makers are those who sin and lead others to sin.
II. The CALL to decide (vs. 19-21).
A. The DESIGNATED place (v.19).
According to Biblical historians, Baalite priests usurped Mt. Carmel as Baal’s domain.1 [Note v. 30—“…the altar of the Lord that was broken down.”] In other words, Mt. Carmel gave Baal “home court advantage.” For God to defeat Baal on his own turf, would further emphasize God’s supremacy and Baal’s powerlessness.
B. The DEMAND to choose (v. 21 cf. Ex. 32:26; Josh. 24:15).
“Halt” means to “totter”—shifting weight from one leg to another—back and forth. The Israelites were worshipping the Lord one minute then Baal the next (cf. James 1:8). Elijah was calling Israel to make up their mind—Get on or get off! God will not accept a divided heart—He will have all or none (Mt. 6:24)
A call of discipleship—Your theology will determine who you will follow.
The god you believe in will determine how you live.
Indecision—To not answer amounts to saying “no.” It is impossible to be neutral in this decision (Mt. 12:30).