Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ahab-Elijah Mocks the Prophets of Baal


By Mary Vee
I Kings 18

From Elijah's Journals

The challenge began.

The people leaned forward and watched the prophets and me. The prophets of Baal would attempt to prove Baal was God. When they finished, I would have my chance to prove the Lord is God.

The prophets of Baal prepared the bull they had chosen and set the meat on the altar without using any fire. They cried out to the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" 

I thought they looked silly crying out to something that did't exist, but, hey, it was what they wanted to do. After noon passed, the prophets looked a bit worried. They danced around the altar crying louder. Their throats became dry and scratchy, yet they continued to shout.

I couldn't help myself. I had to say something. I cupped my hands around my mouth and said, "Shout louder! Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or on a trip. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."

I chuckled softly to myself as the prophets of Baal shouted louder. They became desperate enough to cut themselves to get Baal's attention. Their blood flowed down their arms. The afternoon passed and the prophets continued calling on Baal. The sun moved to the evening sky and still they cried out.

Baal had not responded.

No one answered the prophets of Baal.

No one paid attention to all their dancing, shouting, and pleas.

It was time for them to rest.

I raised my hands and said to all the people, "Come here to me." The crowds turned and faced me. Before their eyes the broken altar of God, which had been destroyed by Baal worshipers, was repaired by the workers. 

I took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob and built an altar. Next, I dug a trench around it large enough to hold plenty of water. Then I arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces of meat and laid it on the wood. I stepped back and said, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."

The workers did as I asked. "Do it again," I said. The workers shrugged and followed my instructions. People in the crowd nudged each other and smiled. The water filled most of the trench and soaked the wood and meat.  "Do it a third time," I ordered the workers. They gladly did it the third time and snickered.

The water ran down around the altar. Every part of the altar, including the wood and trench dripped and overflowed with water.

The usual appointed time for evening sacrifice came. I stepped forward for all to hear. "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, so these people will know that you, O Lord are God, and that you are turning their hearts back to you again.

As I spoke the last word of my prayer, fire fell from heaven and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

The people gasped and fell to the ground crying "The Lord--he is God! The Lord--he is God!"

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photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com

1. What did the prophets try to prove?
2. What all did they do to prove they were right?
3. What did Elijah do to show the people nothing could stop God?
4. What happened to the Elijah's sacrifice?
5. What did the people do when they saw what God did?

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