So many great things happened in this chapter. The main event is that Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to prove their god was real. What faith Elijah had!
This is not the sort of thing that I would encourage anyone to do, but the people of Israel were at a critical juncture. They had so turned from God that something dramatic needed to be done.
The not-really-a-contest was set up, and all morning long the 450 prophets of Baal cried out to (let’s face it) NOTHING, to send down fire to consume the offering.
And then at noon, Elijah begins making fun of them. Now, most translations are very restrained in the way they render verse 27. The WEB translation that we read today has it this way: “Cry aloud; for he is a god. Either he is deep in thought, or he has gone somewhere, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he sleeps and must be awakened.”
But that isn’t entirely accurate. Listen to the ESV: “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”
Relieving himself. Guess what. What he really said there is this: “Maybe he’s taking a dump.”
So Elijah had some fun with them. Maybe not politically correct in his day, but he didn’t care.
And then when it was time for God to show Himself to be the God of Israel and all creation, Elijah had the sacrifice and the wood and the altar drenched three times. The water ran off the altar and filled the trench that Elijah had dug around the altar. And after Elijah prayed, God not only sent fire to consume the offering, but the wood and the stones and the dust and all the water in the trench.
I love it when God answers prayer in abundance, don’t you? So many times we think small when we pray. We forget that nothing is too great for God. We forget that He has no limits.
Next time you have a need, remember what He did the day He proved himself to the prophets of Baal and the entire nation of Israel.
What do you think?