“”Now bring two bulls. The prophets of baal may choose whichever they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the altar of wood, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the altar, but not set fire to it. Then call on the name of your god and I will call on the Name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.”
1 Kings 18:23-24
Elijah was the only prophet left to lead the people into a God-fearing loving relationship with the Lord. The other prophets had been slaughtered at the hands of the evil King Ahab and his even more evil wife, Jezebel. Due to the lack of God-fearing prophets and due to the fact that the nation was being led by a King who mission it was to destroy anything related to Yahweh, the nation of Israel had completely turned away from God and instead succumb to the worship of baal and his prophets.
Elijah, led by the command of the Lord, wanted to remind people who the true God was. He summoned King Ahab and set out a challenge (as written in today’s verse). He wanted to prove that there was only One True God.
After a whole day of dancing around their altar, cutting themselves and praying to their god, the prophets of baal had no luck in starting the fire for their offering, even if there was over 450 of them. Next was Elijah’s turn. To highlight how confident he was in the One True God, he drenched the bull with water and built a trench around the bull. As soon as Elijah prayed to the Lord, fire came down from heaven, burnt the sacrifice and consumed all the water around the bull.
This story is such an interesting demonstration of God’s supreme power over gods who have no power at all. Moreover, it is an encouragement to us to completely trust in God’s power over sin and over our lives. That is not to say that we should go around trying to prove God is real. Rather it gives us confidence to know that whatever we are faced with, God is always greater. Let us walk boldly in the knowledge that out God is the Only True God. That no other god can compare to Him. Moreover, let us remember that He is our God and He lives in us.