Elijah Mighty Man of Faith
By Mark A. Finley
This month we begin a new series of Bible studies. We will study the great heroes of faith throughout Scripture. The purpose of these studies is much more than to learn facts about these faithful men and women of God; it is to examine the challenges they faced, explore their reactions to those experiences, and discover the secret of their stalwart faith. We will learn from their successes and failures, their victories and defeats, their mountain peaks and valleys.
We begin with Elijah. We are particularly interested in Elijah, because although he lived in a time of apostasy, he remained faithful to God and was translated without seeing death. Those of us preparing for translation at the second coming of Christ can learn vital lessons of faith from this mighty man of God.
Read 1 Kings 16:29-33. What was the spiritual condition of Israel during the days of King Ahab and the prophet Elijah?
King Ahab reigned for 22 years in Israel. He married Jezebel, a heathen queen. Together they led the people of God into Baal worship and deep apostasy. The biblical record declares that Ahab “did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him” (verse 30). What a horrible legacy!
What message did God send to Ahab through the prophet Elijah? Read 1 Kings 17:1. What qualities must Elijah have had to deliver such a startling message?
How did God provide for Elijah in this time of national famine? Read 1 Kings 17:1-5; 8-14. What does that teach us about God?
An old Christian hymn has these words in its refrain: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” When we trust God implicitly, and lovingly obey His commands, He takes the responsibility to meet our needs (Phil. 4:19); He keeps His promises. When we place a priority on the things of the kingdom, He promises to provide life’s necessities (Matt. 6:28-33).
After three and a half years, what command did God give Elijah? How did Elijah respond to it? Read 1 Kings 18:1-3.
What challenge did Elijah give to the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel? Why do you think he asked them to pray first? Read 1 Kings 18:21-24.
Baal worship included idolatry, sun worship, and sexual immorality. It exalted nature above nature’s God. It placed priority on creatures rather than on the Creator. On Mount Carmel, Elijah demonstrated the absolute foolishness of exalting human theories above divine revelation. Humanistic forms of religion have absolutely no power to change lives.
Read 1 Kings 18:38, 39, 44, 45. How did God respond to Elijah’s faithfulness?
Faithfulness to God, and trust in His promises, prepare us to receive His blessings in abundance.
Read James 5:17. How is Elijah described in the New Testament book of James? How is he an example for us?
Elijah was “a man with a nature like ours.” He had challenges and character deficiencies like any other human being. But through faith in the promises of God, and trust in His power, Elijah became a mighty man of faith. In the life of Elijah we learn lessons of trust, obedience, and total commitment.
Next month we will study more about Elijah, who was ultimately translated without seeing death.