Small Group Guide:
Open with prayer.
Go around and give everyone a chance to share about how the past week has been. What’s one highlight? What’s one lowlight?
If your small group has talked about it before, feel free to use this time to hold people accountable to what they’ve asked to be held accountable for previously, and go through the “missional” part of this discussion guide.
1 Kings 18:20-46
The Prophets of Baal Defeated
20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs[a] of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 34 And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.
36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.
The Lord Sends Rain
41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. 44 And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” 45 And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
In this passage of God’s Word, we see an epic story. Elijah challenges the people of Israel to stop limping between worshiping God and Baal. He challenges the prophets of Baal. They both are to make a sacrifice, and both will ask their God to light it. Despite their sincere effort and Elijah giving them every possible advantage, the prophets of Baal come up empty handed. The one true God, however, comes through for Elijah. By taking a look at this epic story, we see what it looks like to be all in for God. This story shows us…
You can be sincere and be wrong
1 Kings 18:26-29, Matt. 6:5, 1 Pet. 5:8, Acts 8:2-3, Matt. 7:21-23
There is only one true God
1 Kings 18:30-39, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 1 Tim. 2:5, John 3:36
We should expel anything that draws us away from God
1 Kings 18:40, Matt. 5:29-30, Gal. 5:16, 1 John 2:1-2, 1 Cor. 10:13, 1 John 1:9
Being all in involves fervent prayer
1 Kings 18:41-43, Jam. 5:16, Eph. 6:18, 1 Thess. 5:17, Rom. 8:26, 12:12, Col. 4:2
- Have you ever heard this passage of Scripture or topic taught on before? What stood out to you?
- Read 1 Kings 18:26-29. It is clear that the prophets of Baal genuinely think that Baal is God. Even after Elijah mocks them, they cut themselves in devotion to Baal. Have you ever been genuine about something, thinking at the time that you are correct, but then later found out that you were wrong? How are people led away from God by people who are sincere and genuine, but are wrong? How can you help the people around you from being led astray?
- Read 1 Kings 18:30-39. Even though Elijah’s offering is surrounded by water, God shows His power by sending fire from the sky, consuming the offering. This shows us that there are not multiple gods. Baal is a false god and the God of Israel is the one, true God. Does your life reflect that truth? What false gods are in your life? How long have they been in your life?
- Read 1 Kings 18:40. Elijah executes the prophets of Baal. This may seem harsh, but he is ridding Israel of the prophets that are trying to pull them away from God. What in your life draws you away from God? Spend some time in prayer about it. How can you get it out of your life?
- Read 1 Kings 41-43. After defeating the prophets of Baal, Elijah spends time in prayer. How’s your prayer life? How can your prayer life be better?
- What is your biggest take away about how this passage affects your life? What do you need to work on? Who can you share this with and ask you to keep you accountable to accomplishing this?
Pray for each other in your small group to be faithful take the step(s) that you shared above. Pray for each other and the interactions that they have with those who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God would soften the people’s hearts to what He has for them. Pray that God would give everyone opportunities to share the Gospel.
Share spiritual/missional conversations you’ve had where you live, work, and play:
Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
Who in your life do you think could be discipleable or open to spiritual/missional conversations?
Discuss the next step for your small group. When will we gather again and what purpose will it fulfill?