Elijah was not moved by the actions of the prophets of Baal. He was so confident in the power and might of the God that he served that he made sure that there would be no question, no logical explanation for the demonstration of power that was about to take place as the challenge played out before them. He let them do what they knew to do and then he stepped up and made sure that there would be no doubt about the true and living God.
People may flaunt things in your face, may belittle or discount you for your beliefs, your stance, your steadfast reliance on the truths found in God’s Word. They may view you as struggling, not measuring up, not living at a level that they perceive as successful. Some of those same people may be those that BECAUSE of your faith and belief in the all-powerful God whom you serve, you were able to assist, support, speak life into, cover (and in some cases STILL cover), in prayer. But that’s okay.
When it came time for the god that those prophets served to show up and make his presence and power known, their cries out to him yielded no evidence of his existence or his power. When Elijah was was given the opportunity to do the same for the God of the universe, his confidence level was such that he didn’t want there to be any question whatsoever about the validity of the demonstration that was about to unfold in front of their eyes. He gave instructions to wet, soak, saturate the wood that those priests of Baal attempted to call down fire upon via the power of their god, the idol that they worshipped. Elijah even gave instructions for them to soak the sacrifice that was being offered.
Your situation may be “soaked” today. It may seem as if you have stood, declared, prayed, witnessed, and sacrificed in front of the naysayers for years and nothing is happening. It may appear that there are so many others serving their gods and seeing manifestations for which and about which you have stood and believed with unwavering expectation yet your answers have not come. It may feel like the road you are on is more lonely than you ever imagined as you continue to follow the principles and the truths found in God’s Word.
“… for I am watching over my word to perform it.”Jeremiah 1:12 (ESV)
That’s okay. Your “wood” is wet. It is soaked. There is no way that anything short of the power of God can bring about the changes and bring forth the evidence needed to prove that once and for all the God whom you worship and serve is indeed the true and the living God. Just as the question was settled when the soaked wood was not only ignited but the flames consumed the sacrifice, the stones, the wood and lapped up all of the water that the wood was soaking in when Jeremiah stood before the prophets of Baal, so shall it be when the power of God hits your situations, your circumstances, and manifests the answers to the petitions that you have before the Him on the altar.
“… so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;Isaiah 55:11 (ESV)
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Be encouraged as you stand. Be encouraged as you continue to declare God’s Word over your situation. Do not allow yourself to become discouraged or distracted as the enemy attempts to not only bring doubt and unbelief, but a sense of futility and despair. Continue to proclaim the omnipotence of God. Continue to testify of the love of God. Continue to tell of how He keeps His promises. Continue to speak of the Redeemer, the Rescuer, the Deliverer, the Healer, the Strong Tower, the Refuge… the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings! Yes… continue to call down that fire and watch Him do what needs to be done for HIS name’s sake. You have put His name out there and He’s coming for His name!
1 Kings 18:21-39 (MSG)
21 Elijah challenged the people: “How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow him; if it’s Baal, follow him. Make up your minds!”
Nobody said a word; nobody made a move.
22-24 Then Elijah said, “I’m the only prophet of God left in Israel; and there are 450 prophets of Baal. Let the Baal prophets bring up two oxen; let them pick one, butcher it, and lay it out on an altar on firewood—but don’t ignite it. I’ll take the other ox, cut it up, and lay it on the wood. But neither will I light the fire. Then you pray to your gods and I’ll pray to God. The god who answers with fire will prove to be, in fact, God.”
All the people agreed: “A good plan—do it!”
25 Elijah told the Baal prophets, “Choose your ox and prepare it. You go first, you’re the majority. Then pray to your god, but don’t light the fire.”
26 So they took the ox he had given them, prepared it for the altar, then prayed to Baal. They prayed all morning long, “O Baal, answer us!” But nothing happened—not so much as a whisper of breeze. Desperate, they jumped and stomped on the altar they had made.
27-28 By noon, Elijah had started making fun of them, taunting, “Call a little louder—he is a god, after all. Maybe he’s off meditating somewhere or other, or maybe he’s gotten involved in a project, or maybe he’s on vacation. You don’t suppose he’s overslept, do you, and needs to be waked up?” They prayed louder and louder, cutting themselves with swords and knives—a ritual common to them—until they were covered with blood.
29 This went on until well past noon. They used every religious trick and strategy they knew to make something happen on the altar, but nothing happened—not so much as a whisper, not a flicker of response.
30-35 Then Elijah told the people, “Enough of that—it’s my turn. Gather around.” And they gathered. He then put the altar back together for by now it was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes of Jacob, the same Jacob to whom God had said, “From now on your name is Israel.” He built the stones into the altar in honor of God. Then Elijah dug a fairly wide trench around the altar. He laid firewood on the altar, cut up the ox, put it on the wood, and said, “Fill four buckets with water and drench both the ox and the firewood.” Then he said, “Do it again,” and they did it. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. The altar was drenched and the trench was filled with water.
36-37 When it was time for the sacrifice to be offered, Elijah the prophet came up and prayed, “O God, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make it known right now that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I’m doing what I’m doing under your orders. Answer me, God; O answer me and reveal to this people that you are God, the true God, and that you are giving these people another chance at repentance.”
38 Immediately the fire of God fell and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench.
39 All the people saw it happen and fell on their faces in awed worship, exclaiming, “God is the true God! God is the true God!”