Elijah was a household name to the people of Israel; he was a hero and prophet extraordinaire. Yet, because of his faithfulness to the Lord God of Israel, Elijah’s life was filled with a mix of success and sorrow. Israel had turned from the Lord and was worshipping other gods under king Ahab and Jezebel. Most notoriously they worshipped Baal. Elijah was God’s chosen representative to Israel in this time and his ministry was filled with unique and amazing events including raising a boy from the dead (1 Kings 17:19-20), calling fire down from heaven in a contest between God and Baal (1 Kings 18:1-40), experiencing the presence of the Lord on a mountain (1 Kings 19:11-18), and being taken up into heaven (2 Kings 2:1-12). It is no wonder that people thought Jesus himself was Elijah (Mark 8:28). This sermon series, Success & Sorrow, The Prophet Elijah, follows these amazing events in Elijah’s life.
Often we miss the importance of Elijah in the New Testament. Malachi prophesies that Elijah would return and prepare the way for the Christ. Jesus even shows us that someone did come in the spirit of Elijah and prepare the way for Christ (Mt 11:14). That someone was John the Baptist who prophesied in the spirit of Elijah and fulfilled the prophecy of Malachi. Therefore, we should not forget Elijah’s importance in both the Old and New Testaments. We should seek earnestly after Christ and be zealous for him like Elijah was zealous for God in all that he did. When we trust the Lord to lead our lives, we, like Elijah, will most certainly experience success and sorrow.