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1 Kings 18:41-46

Talks for Growing Christians

The Rains Return to Israel

1 Kings 18:41-46

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Lesson Number 36

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Spiritual people are sensitive to the sound of rain.
  2. Spiritual people are sensitive to the sound of rain.

Practical Application

  1. Do you have eyes of faith that see God’s hand behind man’s hand?
  2. Let’s pray as if the outcome depended on us.

Questions

  1. How had God shown His power over the pagan gods at Mount Carmel?
  2. What effect did this have on God’s people, Israel?
  3. “Spiritual people are sensitive to the sound of rain.” What does this mean? What did this mean to Elijah? What does this mean to us today?
  4. “Faith sees God’s hand behind man’s hand.” What does this mean? What did this mean to Elijah? What does this mean to us today?
  5. Why did Elijah pray with such perseverance when he already knew that God had promised to send the rain?

Answers

  1. The false prophets of Baal were defeated and eliminated. In no uncertain terms God had shown His power over pagan gods by sending fire down upon Elijah’s sacrifice.
  2. They were impressed by this display of power, and temporarily turned back to the Lord, proclaiming, “The Lord, He is God.” But their change of heart was short-lived.
  3. It means that there is sensitivity to what God is going to do. Elijah knew God’s word. He knew the problem that had caused God to stop the rains had been dealt with, and he knew God had promised that the rains would return. When we know the word of God, we are sensitive to the conditions that are necessary for God’s blessings to come on His people. Spiritual people are in tune with the plans and purposes of God.
  4. Faith sees events more than on the surface; faith sees God’s hand in everything. When Elijah saw a small cloud the size of a man’s hand, he knew this was the return of the rains that had been promised by God. We’ve seen the break-up of the Soviet Union and the dismantling of the Iron Curtain. The world sees this as man’s hand, a combination of foreign policies. Faith sees doors open to the gospel after years of prayer.
  5. Elijah continued to pray as if the outcome depended on him. Although we do not know how prayer works, we know that it does work, and God is pleased when we pray in line with His promises.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Consider the short-lived repentance of the Israelites, even after such a miraculous display of God’s power. Does this ever happen in your Christian circles? After seeing a miracle or an outpouring of God’s grace, do you drop to your knees acknowledging the sovereignty of God? But then, do you soon go about business-as-usual?
  2. How sensitive are you to “the sound of rain”? Do you know God’s word well enough to read the conditions around you concerning His promises?

Challenge

  1. Do you see God’s hand behind man’s hand?
  2. Do you persevere in prayer? Does this mean you have to pray a certain length of time?

Key Verses

  • “Go up…for there is the sound of the abundance of rain.” 1 Kings 18:41
  • “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand…” 1 Kings 18:44

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