Elijah: Rebuilding Yahweh's Altar
1 Kings 17 - 2 Kings 2
A free 7-week e-mail Bible study


Elijah the Tishbite, an original watercolor by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
'Elijah the Tishbite', an original watercolor by Ralph F. Wilson, 10" x 14". Available for purchase. Contact the artist.

Elijah is one tough prophet! God calls him to the awesome task of turning an apostate nation back to God. Perhaps the most spectacular event in Elijah's long ministry takes place on Mount Carmel, where he has challenged king Ahab to a contest between Yahweh and Baal. He watches while the 450 prophets of Baal dance and pray for hours, but see no fire from God to ignite their sacrifice. The Scripture records:

"Then Elijah said to all the people, 'Come here to me.' They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins." (1 Kings 18:30)

The altar -- and the worship of Yahweh -- lie in ruins. The people watch as Elijah carefully repairs the ancient altar. Stone by stone he builds it, one boulder for each of the tribes of Jacob. Then the fire falls on Yahweh's altar and utterly consumes the sacrifice. The people fall on their faces and shout, "Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!"

Elijah "repairs the altar of Yahweh," he rebuilds the knowledge and worship of the Lord throughout the land, and turns the hearts of God's children away from Baal and towards the true God of their fathers.

It is hard to imagine that your task and your mission field are more difficult than Elijah's. God may have placed you in a resistant community. Or in a cold, dead church that desperately needs to experience afresh the glory of the Living God! You can learn from Elijah what it takes to be God's man, God's woman in the situation where God has placed you. How to overcome deep discouragement. How to make a difference against long odds.

I pray that as you study and ponder the life of Elijah, the Holy Spirit will highlight things for you to do -- and some things to avoid. You'll also learn from the rich supporting cast of these passages in 1 and 2 Kings -- Ahab, Jezebel, Micaiah, Jehoshaphat, and Elisha.

God empowered Elijah to change his world. May God's Spirit empower you to change your world as well.

Sign up today! Here's the outline of this 7-week study.

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  1. Elijah Declares a Drought (1 Kings 17)
  2. Elijah Challenges Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18)
  3. Elijah and the Still Small Voice (1 Kings 19)
  4. Ahab's Syrian Wars (1 Kings 20)
  5. Naboth's Vineyard: Judgment and Grace (1 Kings 21)
  6. Ahab and the Prophet Micaiah (1 Kings 22, 2 Kings 1, 2 Chronicles 21:12-15)
  7. Elijah and the Whirlwind (2 Kings 2:1-18) and Elijah's Legacy
  • Appendix 1. Participant Handouts (may be duplicated for a small group or class free of charge)

Each lesson includes discussion questions to challenge you to go deeper and a list of Lessons for Disciples that summarize what we've learned about our Christian walk.

Elijah: Rebuilding Yahweh's Altar, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Available in paperback, PDF, and Kindle formats.

Here's how we'll study together.

  • Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week. Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
  • If you sign up for the daily questions version, on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use these lessons to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly over these weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the discussion questions using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • With each lesson you'll receive a link to a 25- to 40-minute audio teaching with me reading the lesson. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.
  • You can download and reprint free Participant Handouts if you're leading a class or small group.

If you sign up now, you'll receive your first lesson this on Friday, September 23, 2022. There is absolutely no charge for these e-mail lessons.

Sign up now!

To sign up, start by clicking on your e-mail frequency preference:

You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.

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Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.

Copyright © 2022, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.