The Backdrop of Elijah’s Story was Spiritual Warfare

1 Kings 18:24 – “…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.”

One of the primary metaphors the Bible uses to describe spiritual warfare is light versus darkness. God wants His people to live in the light, and Satan wants us to live in the darkness. Much like a dimmer switch, Satan and demonic forces know that if they simply flipped everything from light to darkness, it would be too obvious and stark. 

So, evil forces at work in the world slowly turn things darker and darker hoping that, over the course of years and generations, the darkness is winning without being alarming. This is precisely the backdrop for the ministry of Elijah – things had grown dimmer and darker for generations, and Elijah came to turn the light on. 

Throughout the Bible, God creates and Satan counterfeits. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created…” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 [NLT] speaks of, “the work of Satan”, as, “counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception…”

Demonic counterfeits are often referred to as “false” throughout the Scriptures and include everything from false teachers to false prophets, false apostles, and false teaching. Christian discernment is the ability to rightly distinguish between that which God creates and that which Satan counterfeits. 

The backdrop of the life and ministry of Elijah is spiritual warfare as God is seeking to sustain His Kingdom that He created, and Satan is at work through a succession of demonic kings creating a counterfeit kingdom to tempt God’s people away from worship and into idolatry. 

From the beginning, God’s people have lived with constant pressure to accept other religions and “gods” as equally worthy of worship as the God of the Bible. Too many times people are like Solomon and divide their devotion between God and the “gods” (1 Kings 11). 

His failure to remain devoted solely to God set in motion the splitting of two kingdoms and the succession of demonic kings that we will study throughout this series. To embolden us, the Bible presents stirring stories of faithful followers like Elijah and Elisha who would not compromise their devotion to God despite facing opposition and persecution.

What are some ways you have seen the world/Satan counterfeit things that God creates?

For the sermons and study guide that accompany this series on the life of Elijah, visit or text ELIJAH to 99383.