Praise the Lord, for he is good. Sing praises to his name, for it is pleasant. Psalm 135:3
1 Kings 18
Elijah Confronts Ahab
1 After many days, the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain on the earth.”
2 Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. The famine was severe in Samaria. 3 Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly; 4 for when Jezebel cut off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah took 100 prophets, and hid them by 50’s in caves, and fed them with bread and water.) 5 Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land, to all the springs of water, and to all the brooks. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules, and not lose all the animals.”
6 So they divided the land between them to explore the entire land. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. 7 As Obadiah was on the way, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized Elijah, and fell on his face, and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?”
8 He answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord, ‘Elijah is here!’ ”
9 He said, “How have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent searching for you. When they said, ‘He is not here,’ he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they didn’t find you. 11 Now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Elijah is here.” ’ 12 It will happen, as soon as I leave you, that the spirit of the Lord will carry you. I don’t know where, so when I come and tell Ahab, and he can’t find you, he will kill me. But from my youth, I, your servant, have feared the Lord. 13 Wasn’t it told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the Lord’s prophets, how I hid 100 of the Lord’s prophets with 50 to a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 Now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Elijah is here”.’ He will kill me.”
15 Elijah said, “As God of Armies lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.”
Elijah on Mount Carmel
16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is that you, you who brings trouble to Israel?”
18 He answered, “I have not brought trouble to Israel; but you, and your father’s house, in that you have forsaken the Lord’s commandments, and you have followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore send for, and gather to me all Israel to Mount Carmel, and 450 of the prophets of Baal, and 400 of the prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 So Ahab sent to all the Israelites, and gathered the prophets together to Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you waver between the two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.”
The people didn’t say a word.
22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, I alone, am left as a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let them therefore give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under it; and I will dress the other bull, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under it. 24 You call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The God who answers by fire, let him be God.”
All the people answered, “What you say is good.”
25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves, and prepare it first; for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.”
26 They took the bull which was given to them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, “Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice, and nobody answered. They leaped about the altar which was made. 27 At noon, Elijah mocked them, and said, “Cry aloud; for he is a god. Either he is deep in thought, or he has gone somewhere, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he sleeps and must be awakened.”
28 They cried aloud, and following their custom, cut themselves, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. 29 When midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the evening offering; but there was no voice, no answer, and nobody paid attention.
30 Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me!”; and all the people came near to him. He repaired the Lord’s altar that had been torn 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 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. He made a trench around the altar, large enough to contain several gallons of seed. 33 He put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, “Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood.” 34 He said, “Do it a second time;” and they did it the second time. He said, “Do it a third time;” and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.
36 At the time of the evening offering, Elijah the prophet came near, and said, “The Lord, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Hear me, Lord, hear me, that this people may know that you, Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back again.”
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces. They said, “The Lord, he is God! The Lord, he is God!”
40 Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Don’t let one of them escape!”
They seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there.
The Lord Sends Rain
41 Elijah said to Ahab, “Get up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of an abundance of rain.”
42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down on the earth, and put his face between his knees. 43 He said to his servant, “Go up now, and look toward the sea.”
He went up, and looked, and said, “There is nothing.”
He said, “Go back,” seven times.
44 On the seventh time, he said, “Look, a small cloud, like a man’s hand, is rising out of the sea.”
He said, “Go up, tell Ahab, ‘Get ready and go down, so that the rain doesn’t stop you.’ ”
45 In a little while, the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46 The hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he tucked his cloak into his belt and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
Peter Reports to the Church at Jerusalem
1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2 When Peter had come up to Jerusalem, those who were of the circumcision contended with him, 3 saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men, and ate with them!”
4 But Peter began, and explained to them in order, saying, 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision: a certain container descending, like it was a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners. It came right down to me. 6 When I had looked intently at it, observing it, I saw the four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky. 7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter, kill and eat!’ 8 But I said, ‘No, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered into my mouth.’ 9 But a voice answered me the second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call unclean.’
10 This was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 Immediately three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent from Caesarea to me. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them, without discriminating. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying to him, ‘Send to Joppa, and get Simon, who is called Peter, 14 who will speak to you words by which you will be saved, you and all your house.’ 15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the beginning. 16 I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave to them the same gift as us, when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could withstand God?”
18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life!”
The Church at Antioch
19 Those who had been scattered abroad by the persecution that arose because of Stephen, traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews only. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Gentiles, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. 22 The report concerning them came to the ears of the assembly which was in Jerusalem. They sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch, 23 who, when he had come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad. He exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they should remain near to the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and many people were added to the Lord.
25 Barnabas went out to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 When he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they were gathered together with the assembly, and taught many people. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
27 Now in these days, prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up, and indicated by the Spirit that there should be a great famine all over the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius. 29 As any of the disciples had plenty, each determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea; 30 which they also did, sending it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Praise the name of the Lord!
Praise him, you servants of the Lord,
2 you who stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for he is good.
Sing praises to his name, for it is pleasant.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel for his own possession.
5 For I know that the Lord is great,
that our Lord is above all gods.
6 Whatever the Lord pleased, that he has done,
in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
7 He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightnings with the rain.
He brings the wind out of his treasuries.
8 He struck the firstborn of Egypt,
both of man and animal.
9 He sent signs and wonders into the middle of you, Egypt,
on Pharaoh, and on all his servants.
10 He struck many nations,
and killed mighty kings,
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
and all the kingdoms of Canaan,
12 and gave their land as a heritage,
a heritage to Israel, his people.
13 Your name, Lord, endures forever;
your renown, Lord, throughout all generations.
14 For the Lord will judge his people
and have compassion on his servants.
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
the work of men’s hands.
16 They have mouths, but they can’t speak.
They have eyes, but they can’t see.
17 They have ears, but they can’t hear,
neither is there any breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them,
yes, everyone who trusts in them.
19 House of Israel, praise the Lord!
House of Aaron, praise the Lord!
20 House of Levi, praise the Lord!
You who fear God, praise the Lord!
21 Blessed be the Lord from Zion,
who dwells at Jerusalem.
12 Let a bear robbed of her cubs meet a man,
rather than a fool in his folly.
13 Whoever rewards evil for good,
evil shall not depart from his house.