The Lord—He is God! | 1 Kings 18

Welcome to Real Life. Don’t blame the messenger.

“Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” King Ahab said to Elijah.

Israel was deep in suffering from a famine, due to drought—a drought the prophet Elijah foretold three and a half years earlier. Elijah did not cause the drought. He simply relayed God's message.

Israel’s King Ahab married Jezebel, a zealous worshiper of Baal.[1] In the Promised Land, God's country, Ahab allowed Jezebel to institute Baal worship as the national religion. In addition, she drove the priests and prophets of the Lord underground, threatening their lives. Ahab built a temple to Baal for her on Mt. Carmel right next to the altar of the Lord (which fell into ruin from disuse).

God was not pleased! So, he sent Elijah with this message for Ahab: “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word” (1 Kings 17:1).

Three years later, in the midst of famine, Elijah reappears. Ahab greets him with, “you troubler of Israel.”

“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.[2]

Then, Elijah proposes a contest:

450 Prophets of Baal      VS.      Elijah, Prophet of the One True God

Two bulls will be sacrificed. The God who answers by fire—consuming the sacrifice—is God.

The nation gathers atop Mt. Carmel. Baal’s prophets are up first. They pray, morning till noon. Nothing happens. At noon, they begin to shout and slash themselves till their blood flows in an attempt to gain Baal’s attention. Still, nothing happens.

In the afternoon, Elijah begins preparing the Lord’s sacrifice. He rebuilds the altar using twelve stones (representing the twelve tribes of Israel). He trenches it, arranges the wood, and places a butchered bull on top. Then, Elijah calls for men to soak the altar three times until the trench is full. Finally, at twilight, Elijah prays.
“Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

Fire falls! It consumes sacrifice, wood, stones, soil, and licks up every drop of water in the trench. The people fall prostrate, crying:

“The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”

Elijah tells Ahab, “You better get home. A heavy rain’s coming.” The drought—physical and spiritual—is over!

At one time, the knowledge of God filled our land. Today, we are overrun with 21st century Baals. And, I wonder, “Where is our Elijah? Our Mt. Carmel?”

As in Elijah’s day, God is present. His prophets are alive and well:  Ravi Zacharias, John Piper, David Jeremiah, and Tony Evans to name a few. In addition, every day, our Lord reveals himself through ordinary Elijah’s like you and me.

But, a Mt. Carmel is coming. In the last days, the false prophet and anti-Christ will take their stand[3] against the One True God. Fire will fall from heaven.[4] There will be no mistake:

The Lord—he is God!

Lord Jesus, turn our hearts back to you.

Taking it further:
Agents of the Apocalypse: A Riveting Look at the Key Players of the End Times by David Jeremiah.

[1] Baal means “lord” variously known as son of Dagon, son of El, also called Hadad; believed to give fertility to womb and rain to soil; pictured as standing on bull (symbol of fertility and strength). Baal worship involved sacred prostitution and child sacrifice.
[2] 1 King 18:17-18
[3] Revelation 19:19-21
[4] 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 8:7-10


  1. yes, a showdown is coming. Although, I think we always have to make that choice - the living God or something else...

    1. Hey, Sean. Thanks for stopping by. Great point -- we make that choice daily!


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