James 5:17 NIV Elijah was a man just like us… KJV subject to like passions as we are… LB completely human as we are… Worrell a man of like nature with us… Twentieth Century NT only a man like ourselves… New English Bible with human frailties like our own… Williams feelings just like ours… NT of Modern Speech with a nature similar to ours… Basic English Bible a man of flesh and blood as we are… John Knox a mortal man like ourselves… The Message a human just like us …
Intro: Two weeks ago, I preached that Elijah was a man of prayer. I talked about Prayer being communion with God; Prayer being a time when God talks to us; Prayer being sweet fellowship with God, and that Prayer strengthens the child of God.
Last week, we looked at Elijah as a man of purpose. We saw that Natural man wants a life that is easy; but Spiritual man wants a life that will advance God’s Kingdom. We looked at the fact that Elijah’s Purpose was to wholly serve the Lord!
Today, we will be looking at Elijah as a man of passions. Next time, we will see Elijah as a Man of faith, and lastly, we will see him as a Man of victory.
More than just a human like us, Elijah was an effective instrument of righteousness in God’s hands. What God did through Elijah, He wants to do through us! Let us examine Elijah as a Man of passions.
I. Elijah Had Human Frailties!
Often, we see one of the two men who did not see natural death (Enoch and Elijah), but this one was supernaturally transported into Heaven with a Chariot and Horses of Fire as having supernatural flesh and blood. The only evidence that he was gone was that his cloak – mantel – floated down from Heaven where Elisha could pick it up and use it for God’s glory.
But, the truth is that Elijah was a mortal man like ourselves – human just like us – with human frailties like our own. Elijah faced the same emotional, mental, and psychological problems mankind faces today. See the picture in I Kings 19. He has just defeated 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah, who ate at Queen Jezebel’s table. God had answered his short prayer with fire from Heaven to burn up the sacrifice and prove Himself again to be the God of Israel.
Elijah had prayed for rain – since it had not rained for 3 ½ years. You remember how he told his servant to go see what he could see in the sky. Finally after he prayed for the seventh (7th) time, his servant reported that he saw, A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea (18:44). Elijah ran from Mount Carmel into Jezreel ahead of Ahab’s horses!
Then listen to him blubber in I Kings 19:4 Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors. Elijah was afraid and ran for his life because Queen Jezebel had placed a contract on his head!
NO! The real problem was that Elijah forgot for a little while who he truly was!
# 1 problem – “I am the only one doing what I should be doing!” Self-pity!
# 2 problem – He was physically exhausted! He needed rest!
# 3 problem – He had not been eating properly! He needed a balanced diet!
# 4 problem – He believed God was finished with him – no longer needed him to be the prophet God had called him to be! So, he had become inactive!
What he had is what we call DEPRESSION!
Elijah had to get back to knowing who he was and Who he belonged to! What he needed was to get rid of that self-pity! Get some good sleep – rest! Get a balanced diet – and be nourished! And, Get a job for the Lord!
II. AND, God Translated Him!
How is it that God would translate him directly into Heaven without his seeing death? This is a man with a nature like us – only a man like ourselves – with feelings like ours – just as human as we are. Elijah has the same shortcomings as we! Then why is he used as an example for us?
Notice one thing that separates most of us from Elijah! James 5:17& 18 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. ELIJAH WAS A MAN OF PRAYER!
Remember my first message in this series! He prayed about everything!
Look with me in I Kings 19:11-18. Elijah was still in the pity-party mode, but God told him to go to the Mount Horeb, which was called the mountain of God (19:8). From a cave, where Elijah had spent the night, Elijah saw a wind come through the mountain that was so strong that it tore the mountain apart and shattered the rocks. But God was not in the wind! Then an earthquake came and shook the whole mountain, but God was not in the earthquake either. After the earthquake, a supernatural fire came, but God was not in the fire! After the fire, Elijah heard a gentle whisper. 19:13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then God talked to him!
Conc: Most of us get hooked on supernatural manifestations! We would have got taken in by the wind, because of the wind on the Day of Pentecost! We would have fallen for the earthquake, because of all the earth trembles in God’s presence! We would have run after the supernatural fire, because we are used to running after “wind fire!” But, most of us would have not stayed for the gentle whisper, because we are used to noise!
Can I encourage you to search for God until God speaks in what ever voice He chooses! Then, and only then, will we become people who are effective instruments of righteousness in God’s hands!
~ Pastor Erny