hen Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of theLord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”
Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”
25Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26So they took the bull given them and prepared it.
Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
I Kings 18: 27At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” 32With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahsa of seed. 33He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”
34“Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.
“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “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. 37Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
38Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
I love this story of how amazing God is and how He answers prayer. Today the reading of The Greatest Gift asks the question, “What idols do you have in your life? An idol is anything more important than God. Ann says, “You know that you have a Baal that needs to be cut down when you cut yourself down. Whenever you slash yourself, you have an idol that needs to be slashed down. Because that is what every idol ultimately wants: to make your blood run wild and dance you mad and drive you right into the unforgiving underground. Every idol wand you to be cut open for it.”
Idols could be as simple as spending too much money buying things for people, because you want the approval. Idols can be a person, a career, a hobby; anything more important than God.
Beloved, Elijah believed in God, do you? Elijah saw God at work, can you see God at work in your life?
Father God, let me slow down and celebrate you today. As I light the joy candle let me experience joy.