1 Kings 18

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah comes out of hiding in the third year of Ahab’s rule.  And he comes upon Obadiah and tells him to “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth”.  There had been famine in the land for years as the rain had stopped falling when God told Elijah it was done raining.  Obadiah is not at all enthralled with Elijah’s request to go find Ahab.  Obadiah and others had been searching for Elijah for years.  He wasn’t interested in potentially losing him again.  He knew that if Ahab couldn’t find Elijah after he went to him, it would be certain death.

We see a real contrast between Obadiah and Ahab.  Obadiah says “I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth”.  He was a prophet and has been faithful to God, even while being in Ahab’s kingdom.  But Elijah confronts Ahab when he is accused of the drought that has been upon the land and says “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals”.  Don’t blame me, he says.  This whole mess is your fault Ahab.  You have been living in sin, not me.

That’s when Elijah asks for a showdown at Mount Carmel with the priest of Baal – all 450 of them. He says “If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him”.  Pretty confident, and rightly so.  Elijah knew his God.  He knew this wasn’t going to even be close.  He takes it further…”Elijah mocked them” and throws down the gauntlet.  Let’s see whose God is real.  Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to call their god to burn the bull they had sacrificed and cut up.  “He repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down” and prepares his bull the same way and places it on the altar.

Elijah has the bull cut and placed on the wood and then asks that four jars of water be dumped on it.  Not once, not twice, but three times.  Twelve jars full of water dumped on the altar until “the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water”.  He was going to make a statement that left no doubt about whose God was real.  Elijah calls to God and “the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench”.  What would you do if you were a prophet of Baal?  The people responded and “fell on their faces and said, The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God”.  God had showed up in a big way.  But it wasn’t over yet.  Now Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal” and he had all 450 killed.  This was going to put an end to the dual god scenario.  Only the true God and His prophets would remain.  What a victory for Elijah and God.  No doubt who is real and in control.

One response to this post.

  1. […] 1 Kings 18 (asorensen.wordpress.com) […]


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