Introduction: This week I saw the story of a couple who, with the
passage of time, saw the romance drain out of their marriage. The
wife was then diagnosed with a brain aneurism. Knowing they had very
limited time left together, the couple rekindled the original
excitement of their marriage. It took a tragedy to make the couple
focus on what was important. Our study this week is about God
focusing our attention on what is important, especially as we
consider the time of His Second Coming. Let’s dive into our study!

  1. Drought

    1. Read 1 Kings 16:29-32. What kind of King is Ahab?

      1. What are his sins?

    2. Read 1 Kings 17:1. What claims does Elijah make to King
      Ahab? (That his God is alive and that He controls the

      1. Why do you think God chose rain to be the point of
        contention? (Read Deuteronomy 11:16-17. Here and
        elsewhere in the Bible God links the blessing of rain
        to fidelity to Him. The Bible Knowledge Commentary
        tells us Baal was claimed to be the god of rain.)

    3. Give me the big picture here. What is God doing? (He is
      challenging Baal. He is bringing the attention of the
      people to the issue of who is the true God? Who is worthy
      to be worshiped?)

  2. The Contest

    1. Read 1 Kings 18:1. What do you think the land was like
      after three years of no rain or dew?

      1. If you were Elijah, how would you greet these
        instructions from God?

    2. Read 1 Kings 18:17-18. Has King Ahab learned his lesson?

      1. I thought the lesson was that the Living God was in
        charge? Hasn’t King Ahab learned that lesson?

    3. Read 1 Kings 18:19-20. What picture do you have in your
      mind of this event? (They are on a mountain top. The
      people of Israel have assembled to watch. On one side is
      Elijah and on the other side are 850 prophets of Baal and
      Asherah along with King Ahab.)

      1. If you were an outsider and were picking a winner in
        this contest, which side would you pick?

    4. Read 1 Kings 18:21. What is Elijah asking the people to
      do? (He is asking them the same question I just asked you:
      Which side will you choose to win? Which side will

      1. Why does Elijah ask this?

        1. Is this our task today? To present the choices
          to others? To try to get a commitment?

      2. What rousing response did the people give? (They said

        1. Is this lack of response good or bad?

        2. Or, is this just typical? Are the people sheep
          who are ready to be led? (The good news is that
          they have been paying attention to the issue of
          the drought enough so that they do not cheer for
          Baal, even though the king and 850 prophets are
          on Baal’s side. I think it is typical that
          people want to wait and see.)

    5. Read 1 Kings 18:22-24. We finally get a response from the
      people. To what do they respond? (They respond to the
      offer of clear evidence.)

    6. Read 1 Kings 18:25-38. How about this for clear proof?

      1. Notice 1 Kings 18:37. What is Elijah’s goal?

    7. Read 1 Kings 18:39. How do the people respond to clear
      proof? (With a clear decision.)

      1. Don’t you wish that God would act like this today?

      2. Review in your mind what we have just studied. What
        plan of God do we see in this story? (People turn
        away from God. God creates a dramatic problem for
        them that creates doubt in the strength of the false
        god. When God has their attention, He arranges an
        unbelievable show of power.)

  3. John the Baptist

    1. Read Matthew 17:1-3. What is in the future for our friend
      Elijah? (He goes to heaven and then gets to come back to
      earth to see Jesus.)

    2. Read Matthew 17:9-13. How does the work of John the
      Baptist compare to the work of Elijah? (Read Matthew 3:1-3. They were both working to bring the attention of the
      people back to God. They were a critical part of bringing
      the people together to view a great manifestation of the
      power of God.)

      1. Compare Jesus coming to earth to the fire coming down
        on Mt. Carmel?

        1. How does it compare in the power department?

        2. How does it compare in the miracle department?

        3. How does it compare in the attention- getting

        4. Read 1 Kings 18:38. How does this remind you of
          Jesus? (Jesus “burned up” the sacrificial
          system. This entire system pointed to Him and He
          fulfilled it.)

  1. The End Time

    1. Read Malachi 3:17-18. What time is being written about in
      these texts?

    2. Read Malachi 4:1-3. The time reference in the prior text
      was not clear to me. What clarity does this text bring?

      1. Read and compare 2 Peter 3:11-13. (There is no doubt
        in my mind now that Malachi 4:1-3 is at least talking
        about the Second Coming of Jesus.)

    3. Read Malachi 4:5-6. We had “Elijah” come in the person of
      John the Baptist before Jesus first coming. Is it
      reasonable to expect another “Elijah” before the Second
      Coming of Jesus? Is this a repeating prophecy? (I think
      the answer is “yes.”)

      1. What is the impact of Elijah on families of faith at
        the end times? (He will bring families of faith

        1. Why will that be true? (Difficult circumstances
          can bring us closer.)

    4. We see God repeating a pattern. First it was between
      Elijah and the fire on Mt. Carmel and then John the
      Baptist and the power of Jesus. Tell me what you predict
      will be the first act of the Elijah experience before the
      Second Coming?

      1. Recall that God went straight for the “power” of
        Baal? Baal was the god of rain and there was no
        rain. What is the god of our age? (It is hard for me
        to speak about other countries, but the god of our
        age in the United States is money and possessions.)

        1. What does this logically suggest is God’s first
          step to prepare us for the Second Coming?
          (Strike our wealth.)

          1. If you doubt this, read Revelation 3:17-18
            and Revelation 13:16-17. Both texts speak
            of money being a problem. The second text
            tells us that the penalty for the faithful
            will be a loss of the use of money.

    5. After the “attention-getter” (the rain drought/ money
      drought) what will be the next logical step? (The dramatic
      display of God’s awesome power! In the end time we get the
      previous two displays repeated. We get Jesus coming for
      the second time(Revelation 19), and He ultimately sends
      fire to consume the wicked! (Revelation 20)

    6. Friend, will you give God your attention and your loyalty?
      The Elijah test is coming. Strengthen your faith,
      strengthen your family so that you will be prepared!

  2. Next week: We start a new quarter on the topic of the Holy