Read: 1 Kings 18:16-39
Reflect: The name Elijah means “Jehovah is God.” Elijah was one of the most dramatic prophets seen in the Bible. His life consisted of many miracles and incredible events as he walked with his God. Just like us, he experienced victories while also being stuck in times of depression and emotional defeat. His life wasn’t perfect and just like us he had many hurdles to overcome. The Bible records that Elijah had run-ins with wicked kings and dramatic showdowns with the prophets of Baal. Some of the miracles he experienced included the Lord providing food for him by sending ravens to feed him in the wilderness and miraculously replenishing a widow’s oil and grain supply while Elijah stayed with her. He then raised her son from the dead after pleading to the Lord for her life. He also prayed to God and it ceased to rain in Israel for three and a half years.
Elijah lived an interesting life to say the least. Yet, through everything, Elijah was just a human being like us. He experienced fear as King Ahab hunted him down and great confidence as God gave him victory over the prophets of Baal. In 1 Kings 18 we read about this story. God commanded Elijah to present himself to King Ahab. The king starts out by confronting Elijah and accusing him of being the reason for the drought. The prophet boldly opposes the king and says that it’s because of King Ahab’s idolatry. Imagine for a moment the pressure that Elijah was under. Ahab and Jezebel wanted him dead and here he is standing before them and publicly accusing them of being the cause of Israel’s grief.
Ahab then summoned the 450 prophets of Baal to Mt Carmel for the showdown. At this point Elijah addresses the people saying, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." The die was cast. There’s no backing out now. Elijah would have to see this through and prove that Jehovah is the one true God. He then issued a challenge to which the people agreed as a good idea. The prophets of Baal and the prophet of the Lord God would each present a sacrifice on an altar. Each would then call on their God. The God who answers by fire would be the one true God.
The prophets of Baal called on their god all day. They even cut themselves until the blood gushed out of them. Elijah mocked them and no answer came from Baal. The prophet of God then built his altar and poured water on top of it until the wood and sacrifice was drenched with water. He then filled a trench around the altar with water and prayed, “Lord, the 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.” Now, that’s confidence! Why did Elijah have such confidence that the Lord would come through? It’s simple, God directed him to do this. Elijah was walking and talking with God. He was proof that a righteous life, even with our human imperfections, can put us in a place where we can hear God’s voice. Elijah prayed and God answered. Fire came from above and the people cried out “The Lord, He is God!” They made their choice. Jehovah is God
Apply: Just like Elijah, we should strive to live a life close to God. In James chapter 5 we read that “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” We may not be Old Testament prophets but if you have placed your faith in Jesus, you are clothed in His righteousness and your prayers will be powerful and effective. Spread the word “The Lord, He is God!”