Character Studies

Lesson 21

ELIJAH

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 Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again."   (1 Kings 18:36-37)

Text: 1 Kgs. 17:1-2 Kgs. 2:11
Name: "Whose God is Jehovah" or "Yahweh is God;" a Tishbite
Places: Gilead, Zarephath, Mt. Carmel, Horeb
Contemporaries: Ahab, Jezebel
References: 2 Chrn. 21:12-15; Mal. 4:5-6; Matt. 11:14; 16:14; 17:1-13; Lk. 1:16-17; 4:25-26; Jno. 1:19-25; Rom. 11:2-4; Jas. 5:17-18

ELIJAH, THE TISHBITE
1 Kings 17:1
A Tishbite of the inhabitants of Gilead
His appearance - 2 Kings 1:8 (cf. Zech. 13:4)
His piety - 1 Kgs. 19:10, 14; Jas. 5:17
His work - 1 Kgs. 18:36-37 (cf. Lk. 1:17)

THE WORKS OF ELIJAH
1 Kings 17:1-19:21
The impieties of Ahab, king of Israel (1 Kgs. 16:29-33)
Prophet of Jehovah, the living God of Israel (1 Kgs. 17:1)
The works of Elijah:
    1. The judgment of drought - 1 Kgs. 17
    2. The challenge between Jehovah and Baal at Mt. Carmel - 1 Kgs. 18
    3. At Horeb - 1 Kgs. 19
    4. The case of Naboth - 1 Kgs. 21
    5. Elijah and Ahaziah, king of Israel - 2 Kgs. 1
    6. Elijah translated - 2 Kgs. 2
    7. The letter to Jehoram, king of Judah - 2 Chrn. 21:12-15

THE MIRACLES OF ELIJAH
Showed the power of the true God over the purported realm of Baal:
    1. Food brought by ravens - 1 Kgs. 17:5-6 (Food)
    2. Widow's food multiplied - 1 Kgs. 17:14-16 (Flour & oil)
    3. Widow's son raised from the dead - 1 Kgs. 17:17-24 (Life)
    4. Mt. Carmel altar & sacrifice consumed - 1 Kgs. 18:36-39 (Fire & water)
    5. Ahaziah's soldiers consumed - 2 Kgs. 1:9-14 (Fire)
    6. Jordan River parted - 2 Kgs. 2:6-8 (Water)
    7. Transported to heaven - 2 Kgs. 2:11-12 (Fire, wind & death)

THE PROPHECIES OF ELIJAH
Foretells the drought (1 Kgs. 17:1)
The destruction of Ahab and his house (1 Kgs. 21:17-29)
The death of Ahaziah (2 Kgs. 2-17)
Plague upon Jehoram, king of Judah (2 Chrn. 21:12-20)

THE FAITH & CHARACTER OF ELIJAH
Faith in Yahweh (the only true God): God of Nature & covenant God of Israel (cf. 1 Kgs. 17:1)
Consuming zeal against false religion which would displace Yahweh
Patience to wait on the Lord
Keen spiritual insight
Sharp wit to expose hypocrisy, falsehood and error
Boldness and disregard of self
Also know he was "a man subject to like passions as we are" (Jas. 5:17)

ELIJAH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Typical of John the Baptist and his work (Mal. 4:5-6; Lk. 1:16-17; Matt. 11:14; 17:10-13)
Present at Jesus' transfiguration (Lk. 9:30-31)
His plea to God at Horeb is applied (Rom. 11:2-4)
Example to us of the powerful supplication of a righteous man (Jas. 5:17-18)

LESSONS FOR US
God hates sin.
Like the widow, we will be blessed if we follow God's instructions.
God has promised to answer our prayers like He answered Elijah's prayer (Jas. 5:15-18)
The majority is not always right.
God will not accept partial loyalty.
"Jehovah, He is God!"
Man cannot escape God.
God has His remnant.
The wages of sin is death.

QUESTIONS
1. Describe Elijah's appearance and his piety. (2 Kgs. 1:8; 1 Kgs. 19:10, 14)

2. What was his essential work as God's prophet? (1 Kgs. 18:36-37; cf. Lk. 1:17)

3. What were Ahab's sins? How is he depicted in 1 Kgs. 16:29-33?

4. Why did God send Elijah to Zarephath? (1 Kgs. 17:9; Lk. 4:25-26)

5. What did the miraculous raising of the widow's son confirm?  (1 Kgs. 17:24; cf. Mk. 16:17-20)

6. Discuss Elijah's words and statements to Ahab and the prophets of Baal.   (1 Kgs. 18:17-29) Can we use such techniques to expose sin and error today?

7. Why did Elijah flee to Horeb? What did God tell him? What lessons are to be learned from this event in Elijah's life? (1 Kgs. 19)

8. Who became Elijah's servant?

9. Who was Naboth and what became of him? (1 Kgs. 21:1-17)

10. What were God's judgments against Ahab and Jezebel? (1 Kgs. 21:17-29)

11. Describe Elijah's departure from the earth. (2 Kgs. 2)