It’s a battle to see which god will send fire to burn a sacrifice.
It’s the God of Israel against the local god of lightening and rain
AHAB MEETS ELIJAH THE “TROUBLEMAKER”
When Ahab approached Elijah, the king said, “Israel’s troublemaker, is that you?”Elijah said, “I’m not Israel’s troublemaker. You are. You and your God-forsaken family. You quit on the LORD, and you started worshiping Baal.19Tell the people to meet me at Mount Carmel. Bring the 950 prophets Jezebel feeds: 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah.
BATTLE OF THE GODS
Ahab did just that. He brought the prophets and the people to Mount Carmel.Elijah told the people, “How long will it take you to make up your minds? If the LORD is God, act like it. If Baal is god, go ahead and try following him. But what makes you think you can do both?” No one answered...Elijah told Baal’s prophets, “So, go ahead and pick a bull and prepare your sacrifice. There are a lot of you, so go ahead and take the first turn. Don’t light the fire. Instead, ask your god to send down the fire.” They killed the bull, cut it into pieces, and laid it on the wood. Then they prayed to Baal, from morning to noon: “Baal, answer.” He didn’t. They danced a slow, rhythmic hobble around the altar they made.
At noon, Elijah took a few jabs at them. “Pray louder. Maybe he’s meditating—yeah he’s in deep meditation. Or maybe he took a little walk to the outhouse. He might even be taking a power nap.”
They prayed loudly. They cut themselves, too. They cut with swords, spears, and knives. They cut until the blood gushed out. This was one of their worship rituals.They kept it up until evening. That’s when it was time for the daily sacrifice just before the sun went down. No one answered them
ELIJAH CALLS DOWN THE FIRE
Elijah told the people, “Come close.” They crowded up around him. He repaired what had once been a stone altar to God, which someone had torn apart.He picked out 12 stones, one for each tribe of Israel—extended families descended from the 12 sons of Jacob. These are the people God named as Israel.Elijah used those stones to build an altar devoted to the LORD. He dug a trench around the altar. It would hold about three gallons of water.He stacked the wood on top of the stones, and he placed meat on the wood. He said, “Fill four jars of water and pour it all on the meat and wood.”34When they did, he said, “Do it again.” When they did, he said, “Do it a third time.”When they did, the excess water drained into the trench and filled it.It was now time for the evening sacrifice. Elijah said, “LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, show these people who you are. Let then know you are the God of Israel. And let them see that I am a man of God, and that I am doing what you told me to do.Answer me, LORD, so these people will know you are God and come back to you.”
GOD LIGHTS IT UP
Fire of the LORD struck the wood with heat that consumed everything it touched: meat, wood, stone, and water.When the people saw that, they were sold on God. They dropped face-down in the dirt and said, “The LORD is God. The LORD is God.”Elijah said, “Arrest the prophets of Baal. Don’t let one of them escape.” Elijah led them down the hill to the Kishon River Valley below. He killed them all there.1 Kings 18:17-40