18 Sept. 1 Kings 18:22-40

18 Sept.  Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal

“Elijah said, ‘I am the only prophet of the LORD here, but there are 450 prophets of Baal. Bring two bulls. Let the prophets of Baal choose one bull and kill it and cut it into pieces. Then let them put the meat on the wood, but they are not to set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull, putting the meat on the wood but not setting fire to it.’”

“’You prophets of Baal, pray to your god, and I will pray to the LORD. The god who answers by setting fire to his wood is the true God.’ All the people agreed that this was a good idea. Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, ‘There are many of you, so you go first. Choose a bull and prepare it. Pray to your god, but don’t start the fire.’”

“So they took the bull that was given to them and prepared it. They prayed to Baal from morning until noon, shouting, ‘Baal, answer us!’ But there was no sound, and no one answered. They danced around the altar they had built.”

“At noon, Elijah began to make fun of them. ‘Pray louder!’ he said. ‘If Baal really is a god, maybe he is thinking, or busy, or travelling! Maybe he is sleeping so you will have to wake him!’”

“The prophets prayed louder, cutting themselves with swords and spears until their blood flowed, which was the way they worshipped. The afternoon passed, and the prophets continued to act like this until it was time for the evening sacrifice. But no voice was heard; Baal did not answer, and no one paid attention.”

“Then Elijah said to the people, ‘Now come to me.’ So they gathered around him, and Elijah rebuilt the altar of the LORD, which had been torn down. He took twelve stones, one stone for each of the twelve tribes… Elijah used these stones to rebuild the altar in honour of the LORD. Then he dug a ditch around the altar that was big enough to hold about 14 litres of seed.”

“Elijah put the wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces and laid the pieces on the wood. Then he said, ‘Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the meat and on the wood.’ Then Elijah said, ‘Do it again,’ and they did it again. Then he said, ‘Do it a third time,’ and they did it the third time. So the water ran off the altar and filled the ditch.”

“At the time for the evening sacrifice, the prophet Elijah went near the altar. ‘LORD, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel,’ he prayed. ‘Prove that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant. Show these people that you commanded me to do all of these things. LORD, answer my prayer so these people will know that you, LORD, are God and that you will change their minds.’”

“Then fire from the LORD came down and burned the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the ground around the altar. It also dried up the water in the ditch. When all the people saw this, they fell down to the ground, crying, ‘The LORD is God! The LORD is God!’”

“Then Elijah said, ‘Capture the prophets of Baal! Don’t let any of them run away!’ The people captured all the prophets. Then Elijah led them down to the Kishon Valley, where he killed them.”

          (1 Kings 18:22-40)

 

 

Having challenged the prophets of Baal, Elijah told them to prepare a sacrifice and ask their god to consume the offering with fire. The prophets of Baal shouted and danced all day, but nothing happened.

Elijah then built an altar and laid a bull on it as an offering to the LORD, the God of Israel. He poured water over the offering and the wood, and then prayed, “LORD, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel... Prove that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant” (1 Kings 18:36). 

The LORD immediately sent down fire on the altar, which burnt up the wood and the sacrifice, and dried up all the water in the ditch. The people were amazed at this miracle and shouted “The LORD is God! The LORD is God!” (1 Kings 18:39).

Having restored the Israelite’s faith in the one true God, Elijah then turned on the supporters of the false god, and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal were put to death in the valley of the River Kishon.

The photo shows an ancient stone altar on Mount Carmel.

You can read more about Elijah @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/32-the-divided-kingdom-amp-journey-into-exile/elijah-challenges-the-prophets-of-baal/


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