1 Kings 18:18
"I have not troubled Israel," Elijah replied, "but you and your father's house have, for you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals.
Ahab, Obadiah, and ElijahJ. Parker, D. D.1 Kings 18:1-18
Elijah and the Prophets of BaalE. De Pressense 1 Kings 18:1-46
The Source of a Sinner's TroubleL. A. Banks, D. D.1 Kings 18:17-18
The TroublerJ.A. Macdonald 1 Kings 18:17, 18
Deliverance from the Mouth of the LionF. W. Krummacher, D. D.1 Kings 18:17-20
Elijah Meeting AhabMonday Club Sermons1 Kings 18:17-20

Elijah, who during the terrible drought was con-coaled, now, at the word of the Lord, came forth to show himself to Ahab, as God was about to give rain. What a meeting! One of the worst of kings with one of the noblest of prophets. What confrontings will there be in the great day of judgment l Here each charges the other with being the troubler of Israel. Observe, then -


1. Ahab accused Elijah.

(1) He assumed that all the horrors of the famine were the work of the prophet, and therefore sought to slay him. How many precious lives, in all ages, have been sacrificed to the theories of tyrants.

(2) This persecutor was terribly in earnest. He sought the prophet in Israel Then in neighbouring kingdoms. He even took an oath of the kingdoms that they did not shelter him. It were well for the world if men were as earnest in good as they are in evil.

(3) But God can hide His servants from the fury of their adversaries. In the solitudes of Cherith In the stir of Zarephath.

(4) Now Ahab accuses the prophet to his face. But see how his courage cools in the presence of the man of God. He frames his accusation mildly in the form of a question, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" Conscience makes tyrants tremble.

2. He found a pretext.

(1) Theorists can easily find pretexts for tyranny. Ahab seized upon Elijah's words (1 Kings 17:1), and drew his own inference.

(2) As these words were verified to the letter, the tyrant saw, or affected to see, his theory confirmed. This kind of reasoning is very common.

(3) Why did he not accuse God? Elijah acted as the servant of God. He feared to do this in form, though he did it in fact (see Proverbs 14:81; Matthew 10:40-42; Matthew 25:40, etc.; Acts 5:89; 9:1-15; Hebrews 6:10).

3. He had a motive.

(1) Why did not Ahab accuse himself? His conscience no doubt did this for him.

(2) But he could not afford publicly to bear the odium of having brought the miseries of the famine upon his people.

(3) Therefore he shifts the responsibility on to the shoulders of the prophet. How essentially does the spirit of the lie enter into all sin!


1. Goodness will be vindicated.

(1) It may suffer long under the reproaches of liars. This is permitted because God is long suffering. He makes the trial a blessing to" those who are exercised thereby."

(2) But God is jealous for His servants. Therefore the triumphing of the wicked is but for a season. If the vindication takes not place in this world it certainly will in the next.

(3) Elijah had his opportunity. He repudiated the imputation of Ahab. Good men are true patriots. The trial on Carmel settled the question.

2. Sin will be shamed.

(1) Let it only be brought home, and it will cover the sinner with confusion.

(2) "Thou and thy father's house" have troubled Israel "in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord." Complicity in the sin of Jeroboam is specified here. This sin was a breach of the first and second commandments of the decalogue. It was also a forsaking of the Levitical law, which prescribed ceremonies that were but parodied in Ephraim. This offence was carried to its height in the statutes of the house of Ahab which were those of Omri (see Micah 6:16).

(3) "And thou hast followed Baalim." This was a sin introduced by Ahab himself, no doubt prompted by Jezebel The way of error is from bad to worse. Sin is the troubler of humanity. It invaded the tranquillity of Eden and broke it up. It brought down judgments of God upon individuals and communities. Upon Cain. Upon the antediluvians. Upon the cities of the plain. Upon Israel It has provoked wars, in whose wake came pestilences and famines. It troubles the abyss of hell. - J.A.M.

Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
Our theme lies in this controversy between Ahab and Elijah as to the cause of the trouble which had come upon Israel. Ahab accused the prophet of being the cause of the trouble, while of course Elijah had nothing to do with it. He was simply God's messenger. It is a very common thing for a man who has been brought into trouble by his sin to find fault with Providence and with his neighbours and his relatives, or with anybody who points out his iniquity. He feels that some one else is to blame rather than himself. But Elijah lays his finger on the root of the difficulty. Sin is always a source of trouble to the sinner. Ahab's greatest enemy was in his own heart and in his own house. Seragastio, a servant in one of Plautus' comedies, asking another, "How doth the town seem to be fortified?" the answer given was this: "If the inhabitants be well governed and good, I think it will be well fortified;" and then, reckoning up many vices, he concludes, "Unless these be absent, a hundred walls are but little enough for the preservation of it." And the history of the world shows us that that is a true representation of the destructive nature of sin in a nation. It will level the walls of the strongest governments. No nation is great enough to stand if it is honeycombed with sin in the hearts of its people. Sin is the great troubler in the individual soul. It was after Adam and Eve had broken the law of God that they were troubled, the first trouble they had ever known, and they tried to hide themselves among the trees of the garden so that God would not see them. Here is a young man who has fallen into the habit of strong drink and has lost his self-mastery, and he comes home drunk to his mother. Oh, the trouble that comes from such a sin. Oh, sin is the great troubler. But do not imagine that this sin or other outbreaking disgraceful sins that are easily detected are the only ones that give trouble to people. Disobedience to God is sin, and if we fail to keep God's commandments, it does not matter which one, it will get us into trouble, and if unrepented of and unforgiven, into terrible and eternal trouble. Beware of being self-deceived. Sometimes the foulest sins are cherished underneath what appears a very respectable exterior. I have seen somewhere the story of Sir Francis Drake, that after he had made his long sailing journey around the world and had returned to London he was one day in a boat upon the River Thames in a very rough tide when it seemed almost certain that they would be capsized. The famous traveller exclaimed, "What! have I escaped the violence of the sea and must now be drowned in a ditch?" And a man may drown in a ditch quite as easily as in the ocean. And many a one who has escaped vulgar, disgraceful sins that bring men into shame has been led away from God and finally kept from God by secret lusts and hidden selfishness and evil desires that prevented him from obeying God and keeping His commandments. Let us not forget that what we may esteem a little sin has the power to open the door of the heart to sins of which at first we would not dream of being guilty. The historian tells us that when Pompey could not prevail with the city to admit his army he persuaded them to admit a few weak, wounded soldiers. But these soon recovered their strength and opened the gates to the whole army. Thus it is that the devil persuades us to admit some small sin and soon gains the whole heart.

(L. A. Banks, D. D.)

Ahab, Elijah, Isaac, Jacob, Jezebel, Jezreel, Obadiah
Jezreel, Kishon River, Mount Carmel, Samaria, Zarephath
Abandoned, Baalim, Baals, Ba'als, Commandments, Commands, Elijah, Family, Father's, Followed, Forsaken, Forsaking, Goest, Hast, Lord's, Orders, Replied, Troubled, Troubling, Turning
1. In the extremity of famine Elijah, sent to Ahab, meets good Obadiah
9. Obadiah brings Ahab to Elijah
17. Elijah, reproving Ahab, by fire from heaven convinces Baal's prophets
41. Elijah, by prayer obtaining rain, follows Ahab to Jezreel

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 18:18

     5770   abandonment
     5926   rebuke
     8737   evil, responses to

1 Kings 18:16-18

     5092   Elijah

1 Kings 18:16-40

     4254   mountains
     5541   society, negative

1 Kings 18:17-18

     6115   blame

1 Kings 18:17-40

     8747   false gods

1 Kings 18:18-19:1

     7312   Baal

1 Kings 18:18-21

     7734   leaders, spiritual

To the Young '... I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth.--1 KINGS xviii.12. This Obadiah is one of the obscurer figures in the Old Testament. We never hear of him again, for there is no reason to accept the Jewish tradition which alleges that he was Obadiah the prophet. And yet how distinctly he stands out from the canvas, though he is only sketched with a few bold outlines! He is the 'governor over Ahab's house,' a kind of mayor of the palace, and probably the second man in the kingdom. But
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Trial by Fire
'And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose yon one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. 26. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Elijah's Appeal to the Undecided
Now, we have these three classes here this morning. We have, I hope, a very large number who are on Jehovah's side, who fear God and serve him; we have a number who are on the side of the evil one, who make no profession of religion, and do not observe even the outward symptoms of it; because they are both inwardly and outwardly the servants of the evil one. But the great mass of my hearers belong to the third class--the waverers. Like empty clouds they are driven hither and thither by the wind;
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

Obadiah; Or, Early Piety Eminent Piety
The Lord does not love that his servants, however great they are, should think lightly of their lesser comrades, and it occurs to me that he so arranged matters that Obadiah became important to Elijah when he had to face the wrathful king of Israel. The prophet is bidden to go and show himself to Ahab, and he does so; but he judges it better to begin by showing himself to the governor of his palace, that he may break the news to his master, and prepare him for the interview. Ahab was exasperated
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 30: 1884

The Prophet Hosea.
GENERAL PRELIMINARY REMARKS. That the kingdom of Israel was the object of the prophet's ministry is so evident, that upon this point all are, and cannot but be, agreed. But there is a difference of opinion as to whether the prophet was a fellow-countryman of those to whom he preached, or was called by God out of the kingdom of Judah. The latter has been asserted with great confidence by Maurer, among others, in his Observ. in Hos., in the Commentat. Theol. ii. i. p. 293. But the arguments
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

But Some one Will Say, Does He not Know Without a Monitor Both what Our...
But some one will say, Does he not know without a monitor both what our difficulties are, and what is meet for our interest, so that it seems in some measure superfluous to solicit him by our prayers, as if he were winking, or even sleeping, until aroused by the sound of our voice? [1] Those who argue thus attend not to the end for which the Lord taught us to pray. It was not so much for his sake as for ours. He wills indeed, as is just, that due honour be paid him by acknowledging that all which
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

Selfishness and Prayer. A Contrast.
"So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees."--1 KINGS xviii. 42. WHAT A CONTRAST! And yet, both men were perfectly consistent. It is in each case what you would expect, and yet how differently it might have been. What a different story it would have been if only Ahab had listened to the teaching of God! How often we see men having chances of turning round and beginning a new
Thomas Champness—Broken Bread

The West Coast of Galilee-Carmel.
The people of Issachar had "Carmel and the river for their bounds in length": the people of Zabulon, "Carmel and the sea." Carmel was not so much one mountain as a mountainous country, containing almost the whole breadth of the land of Issachar, and a great part of that of Zabulon. It was, as it seems, a certain famous peak among many other mountain tops, known by the same name, lifted up and advanced above the rest. The promontory Carmel, in Pliny, and in the mountain a town of the same name, heretofore
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Ninth Sunday after Trinity. How Long Halt Ye Between Two Opinions? if the Lord be God, Follow Him; but if Baal, Then Follow Him.
How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him. Was kinket ihr betrognen Seelen [106]Lehr. 1733. trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1855 Why halt thus, O deluded heart, Why waver longer in thy choice? Is it so hard to choose the part Offered by Heaven's entreating voice? Oh look with clearer eyes again, Nor strive to enter in, in vain. Press on! Remember, 'tis not Caesar's throne, Nor earthly honour, wealth or might Whereby God's favour shall be
Catherine Winkworth—Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year

Fall of the Western Empire (Ad 451-476)
The empire of the West was now fast sinking. One weak prince was at the head of it after another, and the spirit of the old Romans, who had conquered the world, had quite died out. Immense hosts of barbarous nations poured in from the North. The Goths, under Alaric, who took Rome by siege, in the reign of Honorius, have been already mentioned (p 93). Forty years later, Attila, king of the Huns, who was called "The scourge of God," kept both the East and the West in terror. In the year 451, he advanced
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Will the Knowledge that Some of Our Own are Lost, Mar Our Happiness in Heaven?
This is a difficult question to answer satisfactorily, on account of our instinctive feelings of natural affection, which arise, and, like a mist, obscure our judgment. Nevertheless, the difficulty is much lessened, and even entirely removed from some minds, at hast, by the following considerations. 1. Our happiness, even in this world, does not depend on the happiness of those who are bound to us by the ties of kindred or of friendship. This is especially the case when their unhappiness proceeds
F. J. Boudreaux—The Happiness of Heaven

Of Prayer --A Perpetual Exercise of Faith. The Daily Benefits Derived from It.
1. A general summary of what is contained in the previous part of the work. A transition to the doctrine of prayer. Its connection with the subject of faith. 2. Prayer defined. Its necessity and use. 3. Objection, that prayer seems useless, because God already knows our wants. Answer, from the institution and end of prayer. Confirmation by example. Its necessity and propriety. Perpetually reminds us of our duty, and leads to meditation on divine providence. Conclusion. Prayer a most useful exercise.
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

This was Antony's First Struggle against the Devil...
7. This was Antony's first struggle against the devil, or rather this victory was the Saviour's work in Antony [1005] , Who condemned sin in the flesh that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.' But neither did Antony, although the evil one had fallen, henceforth relax his care and despise him; nor did the enemy as though conquered cease to lay snares for him. For again he went round as a lion seeking some occasion against him. But Antony
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Upon Our Lord's SermonOn the Mount
Discourse 7 "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: And thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." Matthew 6:16-18. 1. It has been the endeavour of Satan, from the beginning of the world,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Subterraneous Places. Mines. Caves.
Thus having taken some notice of the superficies of the land, let us a little search into its bowels. You may divide the subterraneous country into three parts: the metal mines, the caves, and the places of burial. This land was eminently noted for metal mines, so that "its stones," in very many places, "were iron, and out of its hills was digged brass," Deuteronomy 8:9. From these gain accrued to the Jews: but to the Christians, not seldom slavery and misery; being frequently condemned hither by
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Why is the commandment in the second person singular, Thou? Why does not God say, You shall have no other gods? Because the commandment concerns every one, and God would have each one take it as spoken to him by name. Though we are forward to take privileges to ourselves, yet we are apt to shift off duties from ourselves to others; therefore the commandment is in the second person, Thou and Thou, that every one may know that it is spoken to him,
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

But I give myself unto prayer.' Psa 109: 4. I shall not here expatiate upon prayer, as it will be considered more fully in the Lord's prayer. It is one thing to pray, and another thing to be given to prayer: he who prays frequently, is said to be given to prayer; as he who often distributes alms, is said to be given to charity. Prayer is a glorious ordinance, it is the soul's trading with heaven. God comes down to us by his Spirit, and we go up to him by prayer. What is prayer? It is an offering
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Of Passages from the Holy Scriptures, and from the Apocrypha, which are Quoted, or Incidentally Illustrated, in the Institutes.
TO THE AUTHORS QUOTED IN THE INSTITUTES PREFATORY ADDRESS TO HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY, THE MOST MIGHTY AND ILLUSTRIOUS MONARCH, FRANCIS, KING OF THE FRENCH, HIS SOVEREIGN; [1] JOHN CALVIN PRAYS PEACE AND SALVATION IN CHRIST. [2] Sire,--When I first engaged in this work, nothing was farther from my thoughts than to write what should afterwards be presented to your Majesty. My intention was only to furnish a kind of rudiments, by which those who feel some interest in religion might be trained to
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

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