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Limping Along: The Elijah Cycle (2)

. 2 min read

2016/06/05 Christ Church,
Mountain Top,
      Lord’s
Table, Confirmation
Children, 1
Kings 18.1-19
Message, 1 Kings 18.20-40
Three notes on themes we will NOT focus on today:
Responding to confrontation:
      “Troubler
of Israel”
      “Designed
to render us impotent by dissolving energy in guilt”
            (Leithart,
133)
Theodicy:
      Why
do bad things happen to good people?
      Why
does God do good to evil people? (Leithart, 134-136)
      Prevenient
grace!
Language:
      “Perhaps
he is relieving himself” – truly mocking Baal (18.27)
Confirmation motto:
      Love
God, love everyone
This passage develops the first
side of that theme rather extensively. The love for God to which we are called
is an exclusive love. Like the love of a marriage partnership, there is no room
for anyone or anything else to intrude on that relationship.
Obadiah
      Working
“under cover”, subverting the queen as chief of staff
      Time
to be “out”, take greater risk, proclaim “The LORD is God”
      Elijah
repeatedly calls King Ahab Obadiah’s “lord”
      Raising
the insight of Jesus: “No one can serve two masters”

Jesus
      “You
cannot serve God and Mammon” (Matthew 6.24,
            Seow,
138)
Israel
      “How
long will you go limping with two different opinions?”
            (18.21)
      Waver,
straddle the fence
Love God! It is not so much that
we don’t believe in God, don’t love God. It is that we put the trust and love
that we should only have for God in our own resources or in someone or
something else. It is what the Bible calls idolatry, and it can happen whether
or not we’ve got any graven images on our hands. And our relationship with God
suffers (Seow, 137-138).
      Again,
it is similar to marriage. Marriage does not exclude friendships with other
persons, but there is a friendship, an emotional connection, a trust – never
mind the physical oneness – that is to be exclusively with one’s spouse. When
some of that emotional connection, trust, and friendship that is properly
exclusive to one’s spouse is shared with someone or something else – whether a
chat room, a hobby, shopping, or another flesh and blood human – our marriage
suffers.
Love God! The vows that you make
in baptism and membership are a choice to do just that.
      And
that choice is a response to the fact that God “first loved us” (1 John 4.19).
Israel & Ahab
      Not
repentant, not seeking God, not accepting responsibility
      “I
will send rain on the earth” (18.1)
      Prevenient
grace!
Altar as a substitute Israel
(Leithart, 136)
      12
stones, 12 tribes
Water poured three times (Origen,
ACCS, 110)
      Baptismal
symbology
Fire falls
      Judgment
has fallen, not on us – on our substitute (cross, table)
Love God!

Resources:
      Seow,
Choon-Leong. 1999. The New Interpreter’s
Bible, Vol III,
The Books of 1 & 2 Kings. Abingdon Press: Nashville,
TN.
      Conti,
Marco. 2008. The Ancient Christian
Commentary on Scripture, Old Testament Vol V.
InterVarsity Press: Downers
Grove, IL.

      Leithart,
Peter. 2006. 1 & 2 Kings (Brazos
Theological Commentary on the Bible). Brazos Press (Baker): Grand Rapids, MI.