Mark Kent Discusses Elijah and His Experiences
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on April 15, 2017 began with an introit by Mark Kent on the piano. Elizabeth Castle had the Personal Ministries Corner. Bible study ads organized by Rick Carr have been running in the local shopping newspaper, and it’s interesting the people these ads are reaching. Members get to pray for those reading these ads and for people working in the nursing home. We can pray for a broader circle of people.
Rodney Herra welcomed everyone and made the announcements. Due to the constituency meeting tomorrow, the ladies prayer group will be meeting at 8:30 instead of 9:00. Due to the fact that the students are at the ASI gathering at Cohutta Springs, there will be no noon meal in the cafeteria today.
The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “Not I, but Christ”. Rodney Herra then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”.
Rodney Herra then called for the offering. Terrence White and David Smith then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Rodney Herra prayed for the offering.
Rodney Herra then read 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 “13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Mark Kent discussed the topic “The Weatherman”. The congregation sang “O Brother, Be Faithful”, accompanied on the piano by Mark Kent. Rodney Herra had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
David Smith – helps transport nursing home residents to appointments / helps give special help to those academy students needing help / husband of Juanita Smith, the academy registrar
Elizabeth Castle – works in the Laurelbrook Nursing Home business office
Mark Kent – Laurelbrook IT specialist
Rick Carr – works in the Laurelbrook purchasing department / Rhea County district fire chief
Rodney Herra – Laurelbrook farm manager / local church treasurer
Terrence White – local head deacon / heads up Laurelbrook’s vehicle shop
Following are some notes on the sermon by Mark Kent:
- Elijah gave a very bad weather forecast.
- Many times we want circumstances to change rather than changing ourselves.
- Proverbs 3:5-6 “5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
- We must trust in the Lord with all our hearts.
- 1 Kings 17:1 “And Elijah the Tishbite, [who was] of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, [As] the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”
- Elijah then was directed to hide himself by a brook that was not spring-fed but fed by melting snow from the mountains.
- We must follow what the Lord requests step by step even when it involves ravens feeding him. We must just go and do.
- 1 Kings 17:5-6 “5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that [is] before Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.”
- Omni, King Ahab’s father, did evil all 44 years of his reign. “Like father, like son”.
- Ahab even married a high priestess of Baal and set up the worship of Baal. Israel was completely corrupted by Ahab’s rule and religious decline.
- The people were taught that the running streams and living water came from the false gods they worshipped.
- Elijah asked God to do something to bring the people to repentance before they were destroyed.
- 1 Kings 17:6-7 “6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.”
- The stream dries up before the Lord tells Elijah what to do next. The Lord is testing His prophet.
- Eventually Elijah was sent to Zarephath ruled by a close relative of Ahab and a center of Baal worship. The widow he was sent to was gathering the last sticks to cook the last meal of her and her son. So he asked her to feed him first.
- 1 Kings 17:13-16 “13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go [and] do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring [it] unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day [that] the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat [many] days. 16 [And] the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.”
- She believed in the word from the Lord – and was saved. She trusted in Israel’s God by doing what Elijah asked.
- The widow’s son is raised from the dead as a result of her hospitality.
- Back at Samaria, the king has to deal with the terrible famine and searched diligently for Elijah.
- 1 Kings 18:5-6 “5 And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. 6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.”
- Obadiah went north near Zarephath. Elijah received instructions to go see Ahab and meets Obadiah.
- 1 Kings 18:7-8 “7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, [Art] thou that my lord Elijah? 8 And he answered him, I [am]: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah [is here].”
- 1 Kings 18:12-13 “12 And it shall come to pass, [as soon as] I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and [so] when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth. 13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD’S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?”
- Obadiah realized that his life could be in danger, but Elijah pledged to see Ahab.
- When the king meets Elijah, he is protected by a strong bodyguard of soldiers, Elijah by no one.
- So Ahab accused Elijah of causing the calamity. Ellen White says that it is natural for Satan’s minions to accuse God’s people of causing problems.
- 1 Kings 18:18 “And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.”
- Elijah wants Ahab and his people to realize the results of their apostasy. On Carmel Elijah realized this was the last chance to reach the Israelites.
- Revelation 18:4-5 “4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”
- God is calling for people to be true to Him and His cause.
- Elijah rebuilds the Lord’s altar, puts the sacrifice on the altar, and has 12 barrels of water over it.
- 1 Kings 18:36-37 “36 And it came to pass at [the time of] the offering of the [evening] sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou [art] God in Israel, and [that] I [am] thy servant, and [that] I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou [art] the LORD God, and [that] thou hast turned their heart back again.”
- God answers with fire that took the altar, sacrifice, and stones.
- God can do just as much for us today.
- Then Elijah prays for rain, and his servant brings word of a little cloud turning into a big rainstorm.
- Pauline joined Mark’s church but couldn’t hear a word said or sung. She came to church despite handicap so the devil will know which side she was on.
- Let us pray for Elijah’s courage to stand firm so that we can joyfully welcome the Lord coming back in a little cloud.