SHOW DOWN AT MT. CARMEL
1 Kings 18:17-18:39
This passage has it setting when the spiritual tide in Israel is at an extremely
low ebb. The people have, for the most part, turned their backs on the Lord and have gone after the Canaanite god Baal. It
is against this backdrop of apostasy and idolatry that the prophet Elijah strolls onto the stage. He is introduced in 1 Kings
17:1. When he makes his appearance, he comes with a message from the Lord. It is a clarion call for repentance and for a renewal
to loyalty to Jehovah.
In this passage, things come to a head. On the one hand there is Ahab, Jezebel, the prophets and
priests of Baal 850 .On the other, there is Elijah and Jehovah. The odds may looked stacked in the favor of evil, but
Elijah is about to experience the truth that one plus God is a majority.
As we spend a few minutes
looking into this great passage this evening, I want you to see what was lacking in that day and it compares to our day. A few that come to mind now are:
(1) There is a desperate need for spiritual heroes who will stand
against the tide of heresy and apostasy.
(2) There is a need for the people of God to gage their allegiance to the Lord
and to determine where we really stand when it comes to being on the Lord’s side.
(3) There must be a willingness
to flee the evil that surrounds us and be a separate people for the glory of the Lord.
(4) There must be a willingness
to renew our commitment to the Lord and place Him above all other pursuits, interests and loyalties.
With these truths plainly given to us in the text before us, let’s take a closer look at this great day when there was
a showdown on Mt. Carmel. As we look into this passage, let’s take the time to allow the Lord to speak to our hearts
and to reveal things that might not be as they ought to be whether it be in our personal, private lives, or whether it be
in the life of our church. Then, let’s be quick to see that for those who are willing to obey the Lord and follow Him
single mindedly, there is the great promise of His presence, power and personal ministry in and through our lives.
With all this in mind, let’s join Elijah and consider The Showdown On Mount Carmel.
THE DILEMMA OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD (V. 21-24)
Waywardness (V. 21a)
A. The people of Israel were possessed of a divided allegiance.
1. On the one hand, they enjoyed
their name as God’s people, but on the
other hand, they loved the sensual, fleshly appeal of Baal worship.
B. They were torn between two ideas as a result, they were accomplishing
C. That is the way of compromise!
1. These people had fallen a long way from
the nation that had entered and
conquered Canaan hundreds
of years before. Now they are a politically
divided and apostate
nation. (America) (Churches)
2. Predicted by Jesus (2 The.2:3) (1 Tim.4:1-3)
2. Their Warning (V. 21)
A. Elijah’s message is direct and to the point.
1. Tells them that they have to make a choice!
2. Tells them their compromise as an affront
3. Must choose which cannot have 2 gods, (Mat.
B. If a man is going to be right with God, then he must take his stand
from the world. No
one can have both. It is either God or it is the world.
there can be no compromise.
C. Notice their response - silence!
3. Their Willingness (V. 22-24)
A. I find it interesting that this people had the audacity to
expect God to prove
After all, look at all the God-sized
things He had done for them over the
II. THE DEMONSTRATION
OF THE POWER OF GOD (V. 25-38)
1. The Futility Of Following Baal (V. 25-29)
A. The contest.
1. All day long the prophets of Baal
prayed and cried out to their god.
2. Yet, they received not so much as "small
3. Elijah saw the folly of what they were doing
and mocked them, v. 27.
4. This will be the experience of every person
who attempts to follow the
false gods of religion and of this world.
5. Anyone who feels that they can hook up God
with worldliness that they
to failure, no matter how right they think they are.
2. The Faith Of The Prophet (V. 30-37)
A. Elijah stepped forward. Looking at what he did is very
1. First, he repaired the altar
of God, v. 30.
a. Then, he chose
12 stones reminding Israel that they were one nation
b. Then he had 12 barrels
of water poured over the sacrifice. the wood
Altar to remove all doubts as to who was to get the glory for that
was about to happen.
B. He stepped forth and prayed a simple 63 word prayer
1.The fire of God fell from Heaven
and consumed every part of the
the altar, the water in the trench and even the dust round
2. God answered in a spectacular display
of power in response to the faith
of His servant.
3. Folks, it takes faith to be an Elijah!
4. This man had honed his faith on the grindstone
5. He had already see God do the miraculous,
(1 Kings 17:1, 2-7,
3. The Faithfulness Of The Lord V. 38
A. God responded to the cry of His servant and gave Elijah just
III. THE DECISION BY THE PEOPLE OF GOD (V. 39)
We will have to give these people credit.
They said they would honor the God who answered by fire and when He did, they did! These people made a decision on Mount Carmel.)
1. They Experienced God In Power
A. He had answered the prophet by fire in their very presence.
B. There is no other way to know God than to experience Him
in a personal
1. I am convinced that this is the root of all
2. When men meet the Lord they are changed.
2. They Extolled God In Prostration
A. When the people see the Lord move in such a miraculous manner,
fall on their
faces before Him in genuine humility.
3. They Exalted God In Praise