READING: 1 Kings 17-19
“Then the Lord’s fire fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust,
and it licked up the water that was in the trench.”
1 Kings 18:38
Imagine the faith involved. Elijah was in battle with the prophets of Baal, and those prophets had been quite unsuccessful in invoking their gods. They had been praying to their gods throughout the day, yet the Bible succinctly tells us the result: “But there was no sound; no one answered” (1 Kgs. 18:26). They were so unsuccessful, in fact, that Elijah even taunted them and their supposed gods.
In turn, Elijah rebuilt the altar and then dug a trench around the altar. He arranged the wood, cut up the bull and put it on the altar, and then commanded three times that the offering and the wood be drenched with water. Water ran all around the altar and even filled the trench. If one were to stop the story here, it would appear almost impossible that any kind of fire could consume the saturated offering.
It was then that Elijah, knowing that the prophets of Baal had prayed without effect for the entire day, took a faith risk to invoke his God: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that you are God in Israel and I am your servant, and that at your word I have done all these things. Answer me, Lord! Answer me so that this people will know that you, the Lord, are God and that you have turned their hearts back” (1 Kgs. 18:36-37).
Elijah’s reputation was on the line. The name of His God was on the line. If His God did not answer him, He would have been no different than the silent Baals. But, Elijah prayed in faith, believing and trusting that God would make Himself known. So evident was His power that the people could only cry out, “The Lord, he is God! The Lord, he is God!” (2Kgs. 18:39).
Here's my question today: do I so believe God and trust Him that I would have been willing to take such a public risk as Elijah did? Would I have tackled the same battle, or would my faith have struggled?
- Prayerfully consider that last question for yourself as well.
- Thank God for His Word that describes His power. Ask Him for faith to trust Him fully.
PRAYER: “Father, I say that you are God. Help me to live that way, too.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Kings 20-21