Sunday School @ 9am • Sunday Service @ 10am
The following is chapter 13 in the children’s series, If They Could Talk, the story of our redemption as it unfolds from Genesis to Revelation. This is the story of Elijah as found in 1 Kings.
King David went the way of all kings; laid to rest in Jerusalem—his legacy so great Jerusalem became known as the “City of David.” David’s son Solomon succeeded him. He built a palace for himself and a Temple for God. This wise son of David began well but finished poorly—marrying multiple wives who bowed to multiple gods. Even with a king, Israel was sliding fast.
Solomon’s son was no David, either. The nation was ripe for revolution; there would be a civil war and a divided kingdom. Ten tribes retained the name Israel in the north; two tribes took the name Judah in the south. The young nation already imploded.
To soar is to gain perspective; I see from the sky what you humans often miss. And missed by most is that God is always there; even when it doesn’t look like it. And on that day it didn’t look like it; it was 450 against one. I was there; here is what happened.
In the south, the seed of David was king of Judah; there would be some good kings, there would be some bad ones. In the north, however, every king of Israel was bad; one of the worst was King Ahab—he bent his knee to Baal. But there was a prophet of God in the land; his name was Elijah. God spoke through this holy man; telling wicked Ahab no rain would fall in Israel until God opened the skies again.
As the land cracked and parched, Ahab steamed. He killed God’s prophets. But he could not find Elijah. God hid him in the hills; giving him water from a brook and food brought by ravens each day’s beginning and end.
The time came to meet. “Let there be a contest,” said Elijah to the king. “Assemble the people and bring your 450 priests; it shall be God verse Baal.”
The confrontation was on Carmel; the nation assembled to watch the clash. Elijah challenged the crowd: “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal is God, follow him.” The rules came next. Each side received a bull. It was to be prepared for sacrifice. Wood was to be placed on the altar but no fire. Deity would have to provide the flame.
Baal’s 450 priests went first. They pleaded, and they wailed; all morning petitions made to a deaf idol. When their cries were not answered, Elijah told them to yell louder, “Perhaps,” Elijah taunted, “Your god is deep in thought? Maybe he is busy? Or he could just be taking a nap?” By evening still no response from their god; of course there wasn’t. Even a bird’s brain knew their pleadings were in vain.
Then it was Elijah’s turn. He called the people to him; they gathered close. So full of trust and faith, Elijah ordered buckets of water to drench the sacrifice—water cascaded and pooled. Then the lone prophet of God prayed: “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God…and that you are turning the peoples’ hearts back to you again.”
Then a fireball from heaven, hot and bright; consumed the bull, the wood, the stones, the dirt—even the water vanished, vaporized by the ball of heat.
And all the people fell on their faces, crying out the winner and renewed allegiance to their God: “The Lord—He is God! The Lord—He is God!”
He is. But I must ask. How long before you forget again? The Creator God is so patient with you. Will there be a day His patience runs out?
In awe of Him,