Read 1 Kings 18:20-39

Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long are you going to be paralyzed by indecision? If the Lord is the true God, then follow him, but if Baal is, follow him!” But the people did not say a word. 

1 Kings 18:21

I hope you’ll read the whole passage today to have a fuller picture and understanding of what Elijah was up against and how amazingly God responded to Elijah’s prayer for the people, God’s people, to renew their allegiance to God! It’s important to note, Elijah wasn’t concerned with the people thinking he was the greatest – his concern was for the people’s indecisiveness and he urged them to make their decision – God or Baal. When they wouldn’t respond the challenge was put forth.

 Elijah said to them: “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but there are 450 prophets of Baal. 23 Let them bring us two bulls. Let them choose one of the bulls for themselves, cut it up into pieces, and place it on the wood. But they must not set it on fire. I will do the same to the other bull and place it on the wood. But I will not set it on fire. 24 Then you will invoke the name of your god, and I will invoke the name of the Lord. The god who responds with fire will demonstrate that he is the true God.” All the people responded, “This will be a fair test.”

1 Kings 18:22-24

While the prophets of Baal did it their way calling upon the name of Baal and following their prescribed rituals, shouting louder and louder when he didn’t answer and then mutilating themselves, as was their custom. Yet, despite their frenzied behavior and efforts there was still no answer from Baal. So Elijah began his turn in the challenge, and he went to great lengths to set up the altar and prepare for what he expected the LORD to do. Then he did the strangest thing, instead of doing everything to assure the fire would start, he instructed the people to pour jugs of water on the offering and in the trench around where the offering lay. Seemingly crazy and definitely risky in the eyes of man but further proof of Elijah’s hope and trust in God. For this act insured that when the fire started it would be totally from the true, living, powerful LORD, the God of Elijah. Once everything was ready, Elijah prayed to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. His request was for God’s glory and for the people to return to the true and living God – and God responded, meeting if not exceeding Elijah’s requests.

 Then fire from the Lord fell from the sky. It consumed the offering, the wood, the stones, and the dirt, and licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw this, they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground and said, “The Lord is the true God! The Lord is the true God!”

1 Kings 18:38-39

Call to Action:

  • Pray believing
  • Pray for the sake of God’s glory and the rescue/redemption of God’s people
  • Prepare for the answer you’ve sought
  • Ask and expect God to answer and stand out of the way to watch Him work
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