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God vs. Baal

The Challenge: Fire from the Sky

Now after seeing this, Elijah begins 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."

Bible Study Article Covers: 1 Kings 18:16-40 

No More Hiding

In the last article we'd learned that Jezebel was beginning to lose patience, when it came to the current "famine judgment" that God had been unleashing upon the land, for the past three years. It's for this reason, Jezebel begins her plan, to seek revenge against the Most High God. She does this by initiating a season of vengeance, against His beloved prophets. And it would be during this time, one of God's most faithful servants, who was known as Obadiah, would come on the scene. And even though he was totally faithful to the Most High God, he was still able to serve as a governor, from within Ahab's royal administration. Remember, Ahab and his household, did not serve the One True God.

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Be that as it may, it was because of Obadiah's efforts, 100 prophets were able to be spared, from Jezebel's wrath. Nonetheless, as we begin to move forward, we've now entered into the third year, when it comes to God's three-and-a-half drought.

Remember, God was using this drought, to wreak havoc upon the city of Samaria. This judgement was happening, because Ahab and Jezebel had placed Israel in the unfortunate position, when it came to sinning against the One True God.

Nevertheless, it would also be at this time, where we find God telling His prophet Elijah, that rain will soon come, and once again, fall upon Samaria.

The Most High also tells His prophet, this would be a good time for him to go, and show himself to Ahab. Needless-to-say, Elijah obeys God. And he follow through with his obedience, by telling Obadiah to go and tell Ahab, the prophet is here, and that he wants to meet with him face-to-face.

Now keep in mind, at this point in time, Ahab was very upset with Elijah. And the king was doing everything in his power, when it came to apprehending the prophet. But now we find, in Elijah's obedience to God, he's no longer in hiding. As a matter of fact, he's now ready to confront the very king , that's been hunting him for the past three years. So Obadiah does what Elijah had told him to do, and he delivered the message to Ahab. And after the king had heard what Obadiah had to say, he immediately sets out to go, and meet with the prophet.

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The Troubler of Israel

Now upon his arrival, when Ahab comes before Elijah, he immediately blames the prophet for the problems and hardship, Israel had been going through, for the past three years. This is why we find Ahab calling out to Elijah: "Is that you, you troubler of Israel!?" And after Elijah hears this, the prophet responds by saying: "I have not made trouble for Israel. But I tell you this, you and your father's family have. For you have abandoned the Lord's commands, and instead, have decided to follow the Baals."

Note: Ahab's father was king Omri, and his account can be found at 1 Kings 16:21-28. Now the Scriptures points out, at the time, Ahab's father also did evil in the eyes of the Lord. During Omri's time, he had sinned more, than all those before him. And to his credit, Omri did build the city of Samaria. And he did reign over it for twelve years. Now we find his son Ahab, following in his father's footsteps. And to make matters worse, Ahab is now found, to be doing more evil, than all who came before him, including his father.

However, as we turn our attention back towards Ahab and Elijah, we find that in spite of Ahab's allegations, when it came to placing Samaria's problems on the prophet, instead of placing it on himself. We find Elijah telling the king, to go and summon the people from throughout the land of Israel, and meet him at Mount Carmel. The prophet also made sure to specify, Ahab was to bring the 450 prophets that were serving the storm god Baal, along with the 400 prophets that were also serving the goddess that was known as Asherah.

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Make Up Your Mind !

Now soon after Ahab had heard Elijah's demands, he follow through, by sending word throughout all the land, as he'd assembled all the Baal and Asherah prophets at Mount Carmel. Now perhaps, Ahab had fulfilled Elijah's demands, simply because he'd felt, the prophet would have been able to quickly bring an end, to the "famine judgment" that was devastating the land of Samaria, for the past three years. 

Nonetheless, as we now move forward, we find that it's at this time, Elijah starts to go before the people, that had been gathered at the mountain. And as he came before them, Elijah spoke out to them saying: "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him." Elijah also points out that he's the only prophet that was their, representing the Holy One of Israel. And he'd also mentioned that Baal had 450 prophets assembled there, representing him. Now after hearing this, the people said nothing.

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Elijah's Challenge

Nevertheless, after this had happened, we find Elijah sending out a request for two bulls, for they would be used for the sacrifices. Know that one of the bulls would be offered to God, and the other bull would be offered to Baal. Now these offerings would be cut into pieces, and afterwards set upon the wood altars that were dedicated between God and Baal. Then after this was done, the two parties would then call on the deity that they were serving. And so basically the deity that answers, by setting the offering on fire, would be considered the One True God.

Note: Understand that the people believed that Baal was the god of rain, as well as being over the fertility of the fields. Now personally, I find this to be very interesting, being that for the last three years, they had to deal with a very serious drought, being that there was no rain, and the fields had became severely barren. So I'm wondering: "Where was their so-called god that they called Baal?" I mean after all, here you have the God of Israel coming onto this deity's so-called territory, causing all kinds of havoc, and yet, Baal was nowhere to be found.

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Prophets of Baal 

Call Your So-Called god !

Nonetheless, we now find Elijah telling the prophets of Baal, to call upon their god. "Call your god, so he can set fire to the offering that's been placed on the wood altar before him!" So the Baal prophets accepted Elijah's challenge, as they proceeded to call on their storm god. The Baal prophets did this, by calling out to their god in one great voice. They kept calling out his name, over and over again, and yet... there was no answer. Then the Baal prophets proceeded to dance around the altar, by leaping and jumping all over the place, and yet, Baal was nowhere to be found.

Now after seeing this, Elijah begins to taunt them even more: "Shout louder! Surely he is a god? Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened." And after hearing Elijah's taunts, the prophets of Baal began to shout louder, but this time around, they took things to another level, by slashing themselves with their swords. They did this until blood began to flow from their bodies. They continued to do these things, through the morning, and through the evening, and yet, there was still, no answer from their god.

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Now It's My Turn

Now after seeing all of this, Elijah had seen and had enough. So he'd called the people that were watching the Baal prophets, over to his area. After they'd came over to be before him, Elijah began by repairing an old altar that had been built to the Lord, some years back. Keep in mind, this was an altar that had been found to be in ruins. Nevertheless, he repaired this altar, by using twelve stones. Understand, each stone would represent one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

And after doing this, he proceeded to dig a three foot wide trench around the altar. Now I'll like to point out, this trench would be able to hold twelve barrels of sea water. Next, the prophet would arrange the wood and the offering, and after doing so, he had the people pour four large jars of water onto it.

Next he would have the people pour four more large jars of water, onto the wood and offering, two more times (which made three times in total, which brought the total of jars, that was actually poured on the wood and offering to 12) nevertheless, this caused the water to eventually flow down, and around the bottom of the altar, therefore filling the trench in the process. Then Elijah begins to pray: "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel,  let it be known today, that you are the God of Israel, and that I am your servant, and have done all of these things at your command. Answer me O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that You, O Lord, are God; and that You are turning their hearts back towards You again."

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God Answers Elijah

Then immediately after Elijah had finished saying this, fire fell from the heavens. And in the process, as the fire fell, it brunt up the offering and the wood, along with the twelve stones and water that had surrounded the altar. So it would seem that the Lord had sent a fire, that they had never seen before. And this is why, after seeing this, the people fell on their knees, and proclaimed that Elijah's God, is the One True God! Then after hearing this, Elijah told the people to have every prophet of Baal seized. And after they had seized the Baal prophets, Elijah had them taken down to the Kishon Valley, so they could be executed.

Note: By Elijah executing the prophets of Baal, to many, this may have seemed cruel and unnecessary. But one must remember, that Jezebel had already slaughter many of God's very own prophets, before this had happened. And thanks to Obadiah, 100 of the Lord's prophets would be spared. Also keep in mind, Elijah was not acting own his own accord, he was acting in full accordance, when it came to the Spirit of the Lord.

Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

In The Next Upcoming Article:

Elijah has now executed the Baal prophets, and by doing so, we'll learned how Ahab responded to this horrible news. As for Jezebel? Keep in mind, she was already bringing vengeance against the servants of the Lord, when it came to the "famine judgment" that was already taking place in the land. Now with Elijah executing most (if not all) of her very own prophets, how will she respond? And what about the rain? Will it still fall and provide the much needed relief, when it comes to the city of Samaria, like the Lord had promised earlier?

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Related - Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online - Articles Links

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Different Biblical Prophets

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Elisha the Apprentice

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Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

01) Elijah The Fire Prophet

02) Obadiah and the Caves of Refuge


04) The Gift of Rain That Came From The Heavens

05) Elisha The Prophet Apprentice

06) The Thirty Two Kings of Mass Destruction

07) Ben-Hadad The Drunken King

08) The Vineyard of Envy

09) The Prophets of the Groves

10) Micaiah The One True Prophet

11) The Demise of King Ahab

12) The Cursed Seed of Ahab

13) Elijah and the Chariot of Fire

14) Elisha the Miracle Prophet

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