Opposed By Our Enemies

Opposition from Enemies

Book of Nehemiah Chapters 4 thru 6

The one thing we will always see as we are involved in the work of the Lord is, we will always be opposed by those in the world! Persecution is a fact of life for those who are believers and follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

Most of the younger generation have never heard of the Ten Commandments but that does not mean they are free to live as they want to.

This next generation has been led to be against anything that is good, because it carries with it a high price and they are only interested in things that are free, when nothing in this life is free!

None of these things change what the Lord has given His followers to do!

Nehemiah had returned to Jerusalem with the blessings of King Artaxerxes but the king was 900 miles away and did not realize how the enemies of Israel would act.

The spirit of antisemitism flowed heavily through those nations that surrounded Israel just as it does today!

This comes because these Jews served Jehovah God, who requires obedience and who rejects sin!

God was beginning again to show favoritism to the Hebrew children and the neighboring nations wanted to stop anything they did!

*****Neh 4:1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

Before we see who this Sanballat is lets see who Eliashib is.

Eliashib was the high priest at that time, he did assist in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem but only that portion that connected to his house.

The truth is he and his family sided with the enemies of Israel.

Neh_13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:

Neh_13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.

Neh_13:28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

Tobiah was an Ammonite and a Gentile and a partner to Sanballat but married into the Jewish family of the High Priest.

Sanballat was a Moabite but his daughter was married to the son of Eliashib and would also be a priest of Israel, and what did God say?

Neh_13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God “for ever”;

We should remember Gentiles could not enter into the Temple grounds.

Sanballat was a high ranking official of Samaria and would have been much better off trying to make Samaria a proud nation but he wasted his time seeking the destruction of Israel.

*****Neh 4:2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

When we see those who have a sickening hatred of the Jews today, we can know it is hereditary and is from a long history.

These that have hated the Jews have seen what Jehovah has done for this tiny nation, but they have also seen how God has loved them and the prophecies of them, yet they have no fear of God and it will cost them dearly in the end.

Gen_12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

This world of today is just like the those of the day of Nehemiah, and should be trying to get the blessings of God instead of the cursing of God!

Those who hate Israel will see complete destruction less they repent!

It had taken many years by great kings for the walls of Jerusalem to be built, no one could believe that these ordinary people could accomplish what Nehemiah had encouraged them to do.

When we seek God’s blessings, we can accomplish great things because He is always willing to help!

Now we see that Tobiah was also an enemy of Israel even though he was also in the family of the high priest.

*****Neh 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

One of the first things people filled with hatred will do is to mock those they hate!

Tobiah was an enemy of the Jews but was married into a Jewish priestly family.

He actually had a room in the Temple that was reserved for the priest. This went against the Laws of Moses.

It was a mockery to the laws of God!

Remember the Jews wanted Titus stoned to death because they thought Paul had allowed him into the Temple

His son Johanan was married to Meshullam the daughter of another high-ranking Jew. They were also linked to Sanballat in causing problems for Nehemiah in rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

These two Jews and their families did not approve of what Nehemiah was trying to do.

The Samaritans and the Jews were already enemies, and these things just made the Jews hate them even more, so that by the time of our Lord Jesus, the Jews would not even walk through the nation of Samaria.

They mock and threatened the people of Jerusalem trying to stop the construction of the walls of the city.

Neh 13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
Neh 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
Neh 13:6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:
Neh 13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
Neh 13:8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.
Neh 13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
Neh 13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
Neh 13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

Nehemiah prayed to the Lord against these evil men.

*****Neh 4:4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
Neh 4:5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

What is the strategy of the devil? Mockery, Scorn, Insult, Making fun of, Taunting, Ridicule, among other things in an attempt to cause us to give up the work of the Lord.

So many who begin a work for the Lord, fall into this trap and become dishearten and will just quit on the Lord.

So, what is an imprecatory prayer? It is a prayer that is prayed for some evil to fall upon an enemy.

Psa 5:10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
Psa 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Psa 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

This prayer is for those who are wicked, reap exactly what they sow!

Without repentance this is exactly what will happen because this is truth of the Word of God for us all!

Job_4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

We must understand that God will execute justice on all those who reject Him.

This one thing is hated by all those who are lost! They cannot stand anyone who will not allow them to do as they please!

Those who reject us, as we seek to do the work of the Lord, are not rejecting us they are rejecting God!

Nehemiah was not praying for emotional vengeance, Nehemiah was praying for God to deliver His people from these wicked people!

This is the only way this prayer should ever be prayed, for our deliverance from evil!

Jesus Christ gave us this example.

Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, “but deliver us from evil”: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen

What is perseverance?

1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Perseverance is when we know we are kept by the power of God till He takes us home, and we just need to keep going with the work God has given us to do, no matter what opposition we face!

What did Nehemiah and those with him do? They continued to build the wall ignoring the threats of this enemy.

*****Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

What does it take to do a work for the Lord?

We need a mind for the work!

What is earnestness? We could say that earnestness is an intense desire to please the Lord.

Earnestness is a zeal to accomplish what we set out to do for the Lord!

What is the truth of this world? Our world is full of Sanballats!

All the Sanballats are not dead yet, in fact there may be more now than there have ever been!

When we criticize the work of the Lord, we have become a Sanballat ourselves!

Sanballats stand up and say, “we as Christians are not able”.
Sanballats offer active opposition even when the work of the Lord is going on.
Sanballats even cause despair to their friends who are involved in a work of the Lord.
Sanballats refuse to pray for certain works of the Lord to succeed!

How are we to react to Sanballats?

We are to work together to succeed.
We must be willing to strive for success.
We must pray to the lord for His help.
We must set our minds to the work.
We must have a courageous trust in the Lord!

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

When the Sanballats of the world have been ignored and that work is near completion, then we as Christians must be prepared for a frontal attack!

*****Neh 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
Neh 4:11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

The truth is, the more we know about our enemies, the better we can resist them.

What does the Holy Spirit say?

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We must always understand, we will never have the strength to stand against this evil world alone, we must have with us, the Power of God!

Praying and standing guard are the very first things we must do to protect against the enemy’s attack!

We must understand that the enemy cannot take away our salvation, so we should know that our enemies want to ruin our testimony, and stop or hinder any progress we may have in our ministry for the Lord.

Knowing these things, then we know what to prepare for!

Satan is a persistent foe, but he is also already a loser, so we must understand a wounded lion is still a very dangerous enemy.

1Pe_5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We must never forget we are in a war!

*****Neh 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Neh 4:15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

We should get one thing very clear as we approach the Rapture and the Second Coming of the Lord.

We will have to fight for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will have to fight for our sons and daughters.
We will have to fight for our spouses.
We will have to fight for our homes.
We will even have to fight to keep our nation, remembering our true home is in Heaven.

The war with Satan and his followers is getting closer every day. In fact it has been going on since the time of Christ!

When these things are firm in our minds, then we can continue on with the work of the Lord because He wants us to succeed!

If we are too scared to fight then that fear did not come from the Lord!

2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We cannot allow the works of Satan and those rulers in high places, to cause us to fear for our lives because our lives are already in the hand of the Lord!

It is well that we should know our enemies then we can better resist them!

We must understand that some of our greatest enemies are already inside the Church!

Neh 6:10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
Neh 6:11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
Neh 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

There was only one answer then, and there is only one answer now!

*****Neh 4:16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
Neh 4:17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

How did Nehemiah counter the enemy?

Nehemiah placed people to work whose sole job was to look out for the enemy, and be prepared to fight to preserve the Children of God!

Every working soul was also given a weapon to keep near him or her.

We must be very clear. our God is much mightier than all the foes of the Church and if we will make our stand on the Word of God and not give in to the world, God will show His might to our enemies!

Confidence and faith go hand in hand!

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

We must clearly understand that as far as life is concerned. salvation is much stronger than anything our enemies can throw at us!

Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Php 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

What is the truth of our world?

*****Neh 4:18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

Throughout history life has been to work and life has been warfare.

Most of these things are because of the curse of Adam.

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

These things will not change until after the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of the Lord.

As Christians we will face these things every day, but we will find that our greatest enemy is ourself.

Our internal wars are our most severe battles and the most painful.

If we overcome this our greatest enemy, we will be ready for the Lord. If we cannot overcome these things, then all our lives we will be subject to the fear of this world.

Our enemies of the world are all those who oppose the Word of God, and reject the Lord Jesus Christ even though some of those we may call our friends and even our family.

The one thing we need to remember when the trumpet sounds, we will be going home.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Our strength will always be the Lord!

*****Neh 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
Neh 6:16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.

There are things that happen today that when the world observes them, they can only say that it had to come from God.

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to hold back the evil in this world and He cannot do that when the children of God are either too lazy to do the work or the church has quit on God.

We can say what we will, but both these things are happening in our Church today.

There is in reality a great falling away from the Church.

2Th_2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

There should be no doubt that we are in the day of that “falling away”.

Since this is true, then we could see the “man of sin”, the Antichrist come onto the scene at any time and he might already be here and has gone unnoticed.

The enemies of Israel in the day of Nehemiah had missed a great opportunity to cause harm to God’s people, not because they were afraid of Israel, but because they were afraid of the King of Persia.

Today the Children of Israel are safe from a true attack because they are allies of the United States of America.

If America ever withdraws the help to this tiny nation, or if America becomes too weak to help defend Israel, we will see that Israel will be attacked and then we will see that the prophesies of God will become a reality.

The job of the Church, at least here in America is more important now than ever, because we need to place our watchmen and gird up our loins, for we are in a war with the evil in our own nation.

We are foolish if we do not let our voice be heard.

God does not need any of us nor does He need our nation, His plan is going forward every day, but if we are on the Lord’s side, then we need to get busy!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Elijah, God’s Prophet

Elijah, God’s Prophet Of Courage

1 Kings 17–2 Kings 2

From our previous lessons we know that Israel had been divided into two separate nations, one being Judah and the other the 10 tribes now called Israel.

Israel had departed from the Living God, Jehovah and had turned to idolatry.

Because of God’s mercy and God’s grace, He is still God of the second chance and the God of opportunity.

The word “repent” would not be necessary in any language if it were not for the fact that God knows that we are all only sinners who can only be saved by God’s grace.

The Grace of God still means—“God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”.

God needed a man who was willing to boldly stand up a government that promoted idol worship and God sent the prophet Elijah.

The name Elijah means “my God is Jehovah”!

If you are a believer in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ then your name is also Elijah but only if you possess one more thing.

Elijah had courage!

Courage in the believer is much more than the bravery of the average man.

Courage is the quality of the mind that allows a believer to encounter dangers and difficulties because they already know the truth of God and know they have eternal life.

Biblical courage is showing that you are strong in the Lord!

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

It takes courage to overcome the lies of Satan but the rewards are worth the pain of abuse.

Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Courage to the believer is opposite from the cowardice of the unbeliever!

Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

It can be said that Elijah was the most dramatic person in all of history, second only to Jesus Christ.

Elijah was a man of action. Elijah did not take the time to write things down for us because he was a man that things were written about!

Elijah appeared on the scene and in much less than a lifetime Elijah just as quickly disappears!

Long after Elijah disappeared, the Jews have been continually expecting him to return, to again stand up the the falseness of this world.

The Bible says this will actually take place but Elijah will not return in his personal capacity, Elijah will return in his spiritual capacity.

Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Many believed that John the Baptist was actually the second coming of Elijah. but John himself said this was not true.

Luk 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
Luk 1:14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
Luk 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
Luk 1:16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
Luk 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

John informed the world that he was not that Elijah.

Joh 1:19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
Joh 1:20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
Joh 1:21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
Joh 1:22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
Joh 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

John the Baptist was also a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

John the Baptist did preach in the same power of Elijah but there was another who also preached in the power of Elijah and his name was Jesus.

Mat 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Mat 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

And it is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who says that Elijah will certainly return again to this Earth.

Mat 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
Mat 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

Israel was suffering from a drought of the Word of God, so God decided Israel should also suffer from a drought of life giving water.

We first meet Elijah as he delivers his first message to the government of Israel.

*****1Ki 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

Elijah was from Tishbi a city of very few people and he had relocated to Gilead. Gilead was a mountainous region north of Samaria but east of the River Jordan and was known as a good place to raise cattle.

Num 32:1 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle;

It is not mentioned in the Books of Kings, but Elijah had prayed before he entered into this work of the Lord.

Jas 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

What should we immediately notice about Elijah?

He was just a man subject to the same passions as we are!

What should we remember about God’s prophets?

Deu 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Elijah had not prayed for Israel not to receive rain!

Elijah was stating the pure facts!

If Israel would not return from their evil ways they would face the judgement of God. There had been no rain or even dew already for 6 months and Elijah said this would last for another 3 years unless God saw a change and Elijah would then become an “intercessor” for the people of Israel.

Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
Rom 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

All the kings of Israel since Jeroboam had attempted to kill or remove all of God’s prophets and had destroyed the places for true worship and Elijah was well aware of all these things.

What are the facts?

Israel had turned to Baal worship along the worship of many other false man-made idols.

Baal was supposedly the storm god and the god of good crops.

For the words of God’s prophet’s to be true, then Baal would have to be a complete failure as a god and he was!

Elijah had just proposed a direct challenge to the god of Ahab and the god of Jezebel.

Elijah would not have been a true prophet of God if he had stayed and asked God to bless these people, so God sent Elijah away until the proof of Elijah’s words were seen.

*****1Ki 17:2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
1Ki 17:3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

We must realize that God tells us up front that our future home is in Heaven once we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Up until that time, God will only lead us through this life one day at a time!

Our prayers should center on, “Lord what next step should I take” and once that step is revealed we must take that one step while trusting in the Lord to show us how to take that next step in our walk with the Lord.

After Elijah had revealed his message from God, it was time for Elijah to remove himself and allow God to do what He had said He would do.

We will never be able to confront this sinful generation, until we have spent some personal time with God!

Notice this drought was to last 3 and 1/2 years.

The ministry of Jesus and the teaching of the Apostles was 3 and 1/2 years.

The time the Apostle Paul spent in the wilderness alone with God was 3 and 1/2 years.

I believe we can see that each child of God should spend some time alone with God before we can begin our own ministries and we all have a ministry and by example, 3 and 1/2 years would seem to be a reasonable time.

What does God do during that time period?

God prepares each of us for the work He has called us to do!

Elijah was not sent to hide from the wrath of Ahab or even Jezebel.

Elijah was sent to God’s proving ground to teach Elijah a lesson in truth and patience!

We are never to fear what man can do to us, we are to have a Godly fear of the Lord!

The remembrance of Elijah as true man of God is well documented in the New Testament and we find his named mentioned at least 30 times.

God gave Ahab 3 and 1/2 years to see the truth of God and God caused Elijah to vanish out of the sight of Ahab.

God removed Elijah so Ahab would have no contact with him for this same period!

The brook of Cherith was only a rainy season stream that dumped into the River Jordan but it would always dry up during the dry season.

So what is the truth of Scripture?

David wrote in the Book of Psalms these words:

Psa 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

The truth is that God will always provide for those that serve Him!

*****1Ki 17:4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

It was God’s intention to keep Elijah safe to complete the work he had started.

It was God intentions to keep Elijah fed and watered during all this time.

It was also God’s intention for Elijah to grow in the Lord during all this time.

Jer 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Elijah had not been raised in luxury. Elijah was a man of the wilderness. In fact Elijah did not even dress as most men dressed. If you had ever seen Elijah you would always remember that you had seen him!

2Ki 1:7 And he said unto them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words?
2Ki 1:8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

Many depict Elijah as some hairy man wearing leather for his clothes and this could have been true but the Scriptures only say that Elijah was a man of hair.

In the Hebrew this means that Elijah was the owner of hair or that Elijah wore the skins of animals, probably cattle that still had the hair attached to that skin.

This why John the Baptist was associated with Elijah and it was intentional on God’s part!

Mar 1:6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

John’s message was the same as Elijah’s!

Joh 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

Just as John was a voice in the work of the Lord, so was Elijah!

This is our only job after we accept the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts, we are to be a voice in the work of the Lord!

God will provide for all those that lend their voice to the work of the Lord and if you notice most Christians will dress differently from the world!

We should also realize that Elijah would have perished by the brook of Cherith if God had not shown him the next step to take.

Our faith must wait on God’s plans!

Elijah next went to Zarephath which was located in part of the land that was ruled by the father of Queen Jezebel, which made it the last place that Ahab and Jezebel would think to search for Elijah.

It amazes me how God will many times use our enemies to provide our needs.

There are many great stories and great miracles shown by the Lord during this 3 and 1/2 year period which we do not have space for in this lesson so let’s pick up with the end of this period of time.

It was also during this time that Elijah first began training his replacement Elisha.

So, Again Elijah meets Ahab.

*****1Ki 18:17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
1Ki 18:18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.

When Elijah had first called on Ahab, Elijah had presented a direct challenge to the false gods of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.

We would be foolish not to look at Ahab’s response.

The very first thing all false religions will do, is to blame all the problems of this world on Christians!

Our own President said all Christians are Neanderthal!

The theory Evolution teaches that Neanderthal were just a step in the development of the true human.

In other words our own government considers a Christian to be hung up in the past refusing to accept modern humanism.

In other words Christian beliefs are so far in the past that they cannot comprehend the truth of real human life that exists in our world today.

This is an insult to the truth of the Word of God!

Our own Vice-President said that if not for the antiquated Word of God, Christians could accept the gay lifestyle and abortion as just being the truth of society!

The Muslim blame everything on the Christian and simply strive to remove all Christians from the face of the Earth!

Christians will continue to get the blame for everything even including climate change, which lies only in the hands of God.

Evolution teaches that there has been at least 7 Ice Ages so even evolution teaches of many climate changes over billions of years, years when there where no humans on this earth. So why are they showing such great concern now and blaming it all on humans? It’s called money, to make the rich get richer and the poor kept dependant on the rich to survive!

What was Elijah’s response?

Now it is not that false religion causes all the problems of this world!

It is the rejecting of the truth of God and God Himself that brings these problems!

What words were spoken to the Apostle Paul as he strived to begin the early church?

Act 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also”;

What words were said of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Luk 23:5 And they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirreth up the people”, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.

All that call on the Lord Jesus Christ can be sure of one thing, Christianity will always get the blame for the problems that are in this world!

What is our job?

Our job continues to be, to turn this world upside down!

In the end we will see who has the most truthful message.

So Elijah just said, let’s just see who is telling the truth!

*****1Ki 18:19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.

We must realize that during the absence of Elijah, Queen Jezebel had searched the entire land trying to find him and she had caught, tortured and murdered as many of God’s prophets as she could find in trying to locate Elijah but to no avail.

1Ki 18:13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD’S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?

A man named Obadiah, not the prophet Obadiah, who was a servant to King Ahab had actually helped to preserve as many of God’s prophets and preachers as he could.

1Ki 18:4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

If we look closely at those two words “cut-off” we will see that these words come from the Hebrew word “karath” which mean to cut up into pieces or to mutilate, much like someone would fillet a fish!

Jezebel was a very evil and cruel woman and we can see this same type of evilness is performed by that group called ISIS today along with some others who persecute God’s people!

Our world is still filled with evil men and women and God says many will get even more evil than these we see today!

2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Jezreel was the home of the palace of Ahab and Jezebel and also a place where a temple for Jezebel to worship her own false gods was built.

Mount Carmel was a high place of beauty directly across the valley from Jezreel and in full view of all those in this evil city.

The Mediterranean Sea could also be seen from Mount Carmel.

This was the place God had chosen for Elijah to challenge the false prophets of Israel.

God does not hide the work that He causes to happen from the view of those who are evil!

As we know, Baal was considered to be storm god and the fire god of Jezebel. It was Baal who was worshiped so that there could be fruitful harvest.

There were 450 prophets of Baal.

There were also 400 prophets of the groves that were fed, clothed, and housed at the expense of the government of Israel, according to the command of Jezebel who had absolute control of King Ahab.

We see our own government housing many of the enemies of Christ Jesus today!

That word “groves” means the prophets of Asherah. Remember Asherah was worshiped as the wife of Baal and she supposedly was the goddess of fertility, love, and war!

Baal was worshiped as the Sun god and Asherah as the Moon god!

Elijah had directly challenged the false gods of the government Israel but Elijah also confronted the people of Israel with this challenge.

1Ki 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

You see it’s not only important to confront the government but the people must also be confronted. It is the people who can eventually do something to cause a new government to be in place!

What did the Apostle Paul say about the Jew that still holds true today?

1Co 1:22 “For the Jews require a sign”, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

It’s remarkable that a sign is never asked of false religion but a sign is always required of the truth of God!

These false prophets had tried everything they knew to get a response from these false gods but they had no success!

Why? Because man-made idols are powerless because they are man-made!

Psa 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, “the work of men’s hands”.
Psa 115:5 They have mouths, but “they speak not”: eyes have they, but “they see not”:
Psa 115:6 They have ears, but “they hear not”: noses have they, but “they smell not”:
Psa 115:7 They have hands, but “they handle not”: feet have they, but “they walk not”: “neither speak they through their throat”.
Psa 115:8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

False gods have no power to do anything at all!

So Elijah set about to call on the true God, the Creator of our world.

*****1Ki 18:31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
1Ki 18:32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

Notice Elijah was well aware that all eyes were focused upon him and he was very deliberate in the things he did.

It was Moses who had written the Books of the Law that these Jews were to follow and Moses used 12 stones to build an altar one stone for each tribe of Israel showing that God had intended for them to remain united as one nation.

Joshua had used 12 stones to build a memorial as Israel had crossed Jordan into the Promised Land.

Jesus would later choose 12 disciples showing all of Israel that they were also to be united “in faith” in the Living God.

And the truth of the Church is that all believers are to be united in one faith!

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

That trench was to hold all the water that would be poured over the entire altar.

But as water is a “type” of the Holy Spirit, that trench also represented a healing of new flesh or “new skin” to cover the wounded nation of Israel.

To the Church we are taught by the Word of God that we are not only to be washed in the blood of Jesus, we must be washed in the water of the Holy Spirit and all these things require our “Faith” and only then will come a “new life”!

1Jn 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
1Jn 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
1Jn 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
1Jn 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

And the wood then had to be placed in order!

*****1Ki 18:33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.

There can be no doubt that this wood placed in specific order then represents a “type” of Jesus Christ.

It was Jesus Christ who was cut to pieces by the “cat-o-nine tails”, His body ripped to shreds and then laid on that cross for all the world to see.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ who was then in the control of the Holy Spirit, represented by the water.

It was those two measures of seed that represent the truth of the Gospel, the Gospel Seed!

And it is on Mount Calvary where the Church is tried by fire!

How had Elijah approached the people that day?

1Ki 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

If the people of God would just be settled in their beliefs, we could all come together at the foot of the cross where all the people of God stand on level ground.

Even more so today in America we struggle between two opinions when we all have only “one” true Word of God!

And what is the truth of the Gospel?

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Elijah had very little concern for King Ahab and his government which was actually controlled by Queen Jezebel.

Elijah had no concern for those 850 false priests.

Elijah was concerned only with the people of God!

Notice there were also 12 barrels of water that were poured upon the altar built by Elijah.

According to the laws of Moses, one lamb would be offered in the morning by the high priest in atonement for their souls. Then later that same day another lamb would be offered in the evening sacrifice still in atonement for their souls.

Exo 29:41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Exo 29:42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.

Elijah had waited until it was time for this evening sacrifice!

*****1Ki 18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

Elijah had done all these things according to the truth of the Scriptures!

Elijah had taken the Word of God as literal!

It was only then that Elijah called on the Lord, not for his own sake but for the peoples sake!

Elijah became an “intercessor” for the children of Israel.

What is the truth?

Elijah will return sometime in the near future to stand in the gap between Israel and our Holy God!

Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Then Elijah prayed for all those present, and loud enough for all to hear.

Elijah was not ashamed of the Word of God!

*****1Ki 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
1Ki 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

I fully believe that in His own way, God makes contact with every national leader that have risen to that level.

I believe that God gives them specific instructions in His Word and has made His Word available to each nation and each government on this earth.

BUT, God deals with the ordinary people who are restrained and constrained by those governments because “it is the people of God who can make the necessary changes to those governments”, if those people would have enough “faith” to just follow the written Word of God!

And God responded to the prayer of Elijah.

Prayer changes things!

Elijah had confronted the government of Israel that day.

Elijah had challenged all false religions and their leaders to prove their false gods.

Elijah had mocked all false religion because that’s what they are, they are false and powerless!

This fire that came down from Heaven attested to the truth of God’s prophet!

This fire that came down from Heaven demonstrated the falsehood of Baal the fire god of Jezebel!

Ahab became confused.

Jezebel would fly into a rage when she heard of these things.

But many of the people began to see the truth of idol worship, but it would not last and Elijah soon realized this truth!

*****1Ki 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

What is the truth of our world?

At some point in the life of every individual, God will make Himself known!

And God only requires a short prayer of “Faith” for Him to take His “salvation” action!

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

It is the Lord, He is God!

God requires our “faith” in order to do His work!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

What was the truth of Elijah, God’s prophet?

Just as he had informed Ahab at the first, rain would not come to Israel until he prayed that the Lord would end the drought!

And God’s people then began to eliminate those who preached a false religion!

And Ahab ran home to Jezebel to tell her what Elijah had done.

*****1Ki 19:1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.

It had been Jezebel who had made pagan worship the national religion of Israel.

And we must not be fooled it is taxpayer money and our own government that is allowing pagan worship in America!

Jezebel herself had seen that most all prophets of God located in Israel had been slaughtered!

It was the government of Israel that was killing God’s people!

1Ki 18:13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD’S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?

Jezebel hated God’s prophets and Jezebel became Elijah’s darkest and most dangerous enemy!

To be quiet honest, it is our own government has become the greatest enemy to all those Pastors who take a stand on the truth of God!

Jezebel was so deep in her paganism, she could not be moved to believe the truth!

*****1Ki 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

Just when Elijah felt that there would be a great revival in all of Israel, he found out that the entire force of the government of Israel would be seeking his life.

So it is true that for the first time in his life Elijah had a fear for his own life.

But it is also true that Elijah knew revival could not come to Israel at this time and it broke his heart!

We sometimes have a greatest let downs after a sure victory and needless to say when you are up on the mountain, this world will always find a way to knock you down, if you are a true child of God!

Elijah began to trust in his own power to save himself, after all Elijah was only a man with a man’s weaknesses.

*****1Ki 19:3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
1Ki 19:4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

Elijah’s hope for revival had come to a quick end and Elijah was heartbroken for the people he loved.

Elijah was not a coward we have seen the proof of that.

Elijah was not afraid to die because we see he asked the Lord to take his life.

Elijah was discouraged!

Remember courage is the quality of the mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness.

To be discouraged is to be disheartened, a loss of confidence and dejected.

Elijah felt that if such a great miracle as God had shown to Israel on Mount Carmel could not win the hearts of the people then Israel could not be won back to the Lord.

God says this:

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Many of God’s men have felt that they were alone in the the work of the Lord but we should remember a few things.

This is God’s plan of salvation and we just need to be a part of His plan!

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

And these things will not end until God says it’s time for them to end!

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God was not through with Elijah!

On the contrary God has great plans for Elijah even beyond the Church age!

Mat 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

What will Elijah’s job be at that time?

Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

It was not Elijah’s job to restore Israel because that has always been the Lord’s job!

Elijah was just one small part of the plan of God just like we all are!

Jesus preached in all the synagogues and included these things in His message:

Luk 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
Luk 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

Our job is to go where the Lord leads us and respond to the opportunities that He gives us and continue to do good, without getting weary in well doing.

And to take our stand on the Word of God!

It takes as much courage today to stand for the truth, as it took in the days of Elijah!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!