17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and you have followed the Baals. 19 Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” And all the people said, “That is a good idea.” 25 So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one ox for yourselves and prepare it first for you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.” 26 Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, “O Baal, answer us.” But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made. 27 It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.” 28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. 29 When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” 32 So with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed. 33 Then he arranged the wood and cut the ox in pieces and laid it on the wood. 34 And he said, “Fill four pitchers with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 The water flowed around the altar and he also filled the trench with water
36 At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.”
I really love this story for a couple of reasons, actually a lot of reasons but I'll only give you a few. First it's totally epic right? I would love to see it play out on a big screen. I love that Elijah is just a man. He's just this guy that the Lord spoke to and who chose to listen. He had regular human issues. He had plenty of self doubt but when it came down to business he was so hard core. I think that Elijah must of had a thing about fire, after all wasn't it he that rode away in a chariot of flame off to heaven?
I love that this story shows the awesomeness of God. God. Is. Dramatic. If you have a problem with people who are dramatic you may want to familiarize yourself with a bit of the Old Testament because we serve an over-the-top God.
It seems that God loves to use just regular people who are seemingly all alone. Elijah, Moses, Noah, Jesus, all these men were utterly alone, everyone had turned against them, mocked them even. But they all had these huge, epic experiences. Elijah called fire down from heaven. Moses stood knee deep in the water and parted the see with nothing but his faith and his staff. Noah built that ark all the while being mocked and laughed at. In all those stories God showed up and He showed off. Part the sea?? Flood the entire earth?? Send fire from heaven? I could go on and on. King Hezekiah stood at the wall of his city and looked around at the hundreds of thousands of enemy soldiers that God had destroyed in one night without the help of one single human.
The most epic and incredible story ever. God, Himself born on this earth, grew to be just a man. Then He gave Himself for me, while I denied Him and His love. This is real life. This happened. It's not just a story.
Do you believe it? Because if you do, you have to believe that one day something similar to this story of Elijah will happen again. He, the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel is going to show up again, in a powerful and consuming way and on that day, every knee will bow and everyone will say "The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God!" OH I CAN'T HARDLY WAIT!