1 Kings 18: 16-24

So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”

“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waiver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

But the people said nothing.

Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire–he is God.”

A Thought

Elijah agreed for Obadiah, a devout believer, to bring king Ahab to meet with him. Ahab calls Elijah a troublemaker of Israel. Elijah denies his claim and responds with a charge that Ahab, his father before him and his family have abandoned the Lord’s commands and now follow the prophets of Baal and worship the idol of Asherah. Elijah, the Lord’s prophet, challenges Ahab to gather the prophets of Baal and Asherah to call on the name of their god, while Elijah calls upon the name of the Lord to see which god answers their sacrifice of a bull by fire, without putting a light to the wood. After a morning of calling on the name of Baal, frantic prophesying and dancing around the altar, they shouted louder and louder as they took swords and spears and slashed themselves, until they drew their own blood. At the time of their evening sacrifice, there was no answer by fire and no answer came.

Elijah then rebuilt the altar of the Lord with twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel, dug a large trench around it, arranged the wood and placed the pieces of the bull sacrifice on the wood. Three different times Elijah had them take four large jars of water and pour on the wood. Elijah then prayed to the Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel that the people would know Elijah is his prophet following his command and that He would answer so the people would know that He is God and that He is turning their hearts back to Him. God answered by fire–He burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the soil and slicked up all the water! The people responded, “The Lord is God!” and all the false prophets were slaughtered in the Kishon Valley. We must believe!

Our Prayer

Father thank you for bringing your people Israel back to you and for giving your Son to all who will believe, as our perfect sacrifice for our sins. We ask in Jesus’ name that you continue to reveal by your Spirit how we are to grow in love by faith to become more like you.