Applications from 1 Kings
1 Kings 18:40-46
As we finished last time the fire of God fell and consumed the sacrifice. This led the people to proclaim, “Yahweh is God!” Tonight Elijah has all of the prophets of Baal killed. Then he tells Ahab that rain is coming. Next, Elijah goes atop Mt. Carmel and kneels. He tells his servant to go up and look toward the sea. The servant sees nothing, but Elijah tells him to look again 7 times. The 7th time he sees a cloud the size of a man’s fist. This small cloud grew into great rain. As everyone heads home, Elijah outruns Ahab who is in a chariot and
got a head start!
You notice here that Elijah doesn’t just beat the prophets of Baal in a contest, but he also has them killed. Many may see this as too much…Why kill them now that they had been proven wrong?
This leads us to distinguish between the problem and symptom. Was Israel’s problem the lack of rain? No, this is the symptom. Israel’s problem was worship of Baal before God. The contest treated the symptom…they got rain. Eliminating Jezebel’s prophets addressed the problem.
We must be careful to address the problem not just treat symptom.
Physically. Have you ever had a doctor discuss with you the health implications of American’s eating habits. Many of our health issues would go away if we had better self-control in our diet.
Financially. The same holds true with our budgets. We don’t need more money, better credit, or a different economy. We need to control our personal spending.
Spiritually. Just as we can treat the symptom but never get to the problem with our health/finances…we really can with the spiritual matters of our life, home, and church. Most of the time we don’t need a fresh start, new program, or whatever great idea surfaces. Usually we just need to address the sin, idolatry, or the need for awakening.
Instead of treating the symptom address the problem.
Pastor Chanc Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN
This blog post was adapted from a sermon preached at Harpeth Baptist Church in the summer of 2012.