Epic Battles

1 Kings 17:1, 18

Introduction: Happy 2023 Super Bowl Sunday: There are all kinds of ideas / opinions / bets on what will happen in a few hours.

Some ‘exotic’ bets:

  • Will singer of national anthem forget a word?
  • Will any player propose to his girlfriend after the game?
  • What gateraid color will be dumped on coach?
  • Will any of the kicks hit the crossbar?
  • Will the power go out during the game?
  • Who will win the coin toss?

And of course…’who will be named the MVP’?

Jalen Hurts (QB) +130
Patrick Mahomes (QB) +130
Travis Kelce (TE) +1600
AJ Brown (WR) +1800
Devonta Smith (WR) +3100
Haason Reddick (LB) +3400
Miles Sanders (RB) +5000
Jerick McKinnon (RB) +5000
Isiah Pacheco (RB) +5000
Darius Slay (CB) +6000
Chris Jones (DT) +5000
Dallas Goedert (TE) +6000
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR) +6000
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR) +7500

Before I go on….I want to make clear that I don’t encourage gambling in any way. I am just using known terms to make a point.

Facts about our Text:

  • Elijah lived during a period when the northern kingdom of Israel had turned gravely away from the Lord to wallow in wickedness. The people had been in a progressive downward spiral of wretchedness for some time, but the Lord had been patient with them.
    •  In essence, the people had already parched themselves of living water from the Lord before Elijah prophesied there would be neither rain or dew on their land for several years (1 Kings 17:1).

  • God tells Elijah to hide by a brook where there is water and where he will send ravens to feed him.
  • God then sends Elijah to a women in the village of Zarephath. ‘Please give me something to eat.’
    • Her son dies but Elijah prays and God brings him back to life.

Let’s call all this the playoffs!

Transition: What I want to look at is two ‘Co-MVP’s?

Facts about 1 Kings 18:

  • Israel was in a terrible drought (3 ½ years).
  • God tells Elijah to present himself to the wicked King Ahab (and his wonderful wife Jezebel).

I. Elijah was the underdog.

  • He was hated.
  • He was the face on the poster, ‘wanted dead or alive’?
  • He was referred to as the ‘troubler of Israel’
  • He was alone.
  • He was hiding.
  • He was discouraged – probably downright depressed!

Transition/Application: Sometimes, we might feel like or even be the underdog. When we decide to follow the Lord, others don’t understand, they might even criticize and accuse us of ‘rocking the boat,’ undermining family and faith values, etc. We might be considered ‘troublers. We stand out for our faith and principles at work and in the world and others don’t like it. They say we are ‘self-righteous,’ and even ‘hypocritical’.

But, we’ve been called, anointed, appointed by God to stand and be true to him so here we are doing our best!

Please note this…. although Elijah was the underdog, he wasn’t the only one.

Enter Obadiah. Let’s call Obadiah the CO-MVP! 18:

II. Elijah’s Teammate / Ally (ies) – 18:1-15

Application: The thing to remember is that you aren’t the only one facing challenges, threats, harassment(s).

18:2-3. Obadiah is charge of the palace (Obadiah was a devoted follow of the Lord).

  • Obadiah was feeble.
  • Obadiah was worried.
  • Obadiah didn’t want to carry out the prophet’s orders because it would put him in harm’s way.

But Obadiah faced the challenge.

  1. Elijah Faced His Enemy (Challenge) – 18:16-17

Application: This is kind of the ‘coin flip’

MVP’s face the challenges, accept the odds, storm onto the field and let God do His thing!

III. Elijah ‘lets it ride.’

A popular casino card game as described below, or playing roulette and letting your winning chips remain on the table in hopes of winning again and again.

Application: Basically, Elijah bets over and over again, on the same bet, ‘God will do what He says!’

  • Elijah Celebrates Victory and Gives Honor where honor is due.

  • Challenge
  • Fire
  • Victory
  • Destruction of enemy

Conclusion: Super Bowl Sunday. Who will be the MVP? What about us? Can we believe God moving forward despite the odds? Will we stand under the weight of the challenges and tasks before us?

  • When God speaks, He will accomplish.
  • Despite the odds, let’s ask God to give us the strength to be MVP’s.


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