Elijah was a prophet of God. Ahab was king of Israel. Elijah challenged Ahab to a contest. It would determine whose God was the true God, the Lord God or Baalim. This story is found in 1 Kings 18:17-40.
THE CHALLENGE (21-24)
And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
THE CONTEST (25-29, 30-35)
Prophets of Baal (25-29)
And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
Elijah the Prophet (30-35)
And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
RESULTS OF THE CONTEST (36-40)
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
Worship God with all our heart. When we challenge the Lord God, we will always lose. The Baal worshippers served a god who could not hear, react, or care. The Lord God heard and reacted immediately to Elijah’s prayer.
Who do we serve? The one true God or an idol? Choose the one true God!
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001