When King Ahab comes face to face with Elijah, he comments that Elijah is the troubler of the whole nation of Israel. Elijah quickly corrects him, defending himself, and advises the king that it is he and his father’s household which have brought down the wrath of God for leading Israel to forsake the commandments of God.
Elijah Commissions the Gods
What happens next is of astronomical proportions. The prophet Elijah commissions for the people to make a stance. They were serving two masters, both YHWH and Baal. Elijah, however, tells them they must decide who they will serve. Here we see a contrast from the people versus Obadiah. Obadiah called out in fear to Elijah, who had mercy on him. He was given a choice to believe Elijah was chosen by God to deliver a message or to reject his word. Obadiah chose to believe Elijah.
The people, in contrast, choose not to heed Elijah. Every leader, every tribe, every household and prophet of Baal step to one side. Elijah shows no fear to be standing all alone on the side of YHWH, to be siding against the wicked Jezebel and Ahab, to be siding against the popular vote. He takes his place, ready to defend his God.
Elijah calls for two bulls. One bull is given to the people. They dress it for the occasion, and pray to Baal to set fire to the bull and consume it. The biblical text tells us the people call to their god from morning to noon. No response comes. In desperation, the people leap onto the altar to encourage Baal to come. There comes only silence from the heavens.
Elijah Mocks Baal
Elijah breaks the silence by mocking the people’s god. He jests their god is too busy, he is on a journey, relieving himself or needs waking. The people cry aloud. In order to get the attention of Baal, they even begin to cut themselves with knives and lancets. Blood gushes and pours on the ground.
After many hours, Elijah calls the people to himself. He wants them near so they can see the miracle that God was going to usher.
It is here we can see the immense love of God. The Almighty, the Creator of the ends of the earth could have sent down fire to consume the whole lot of them and scorch every last hair on their heads. But that is not why he sent Elijah. He sent Elijah to get the attention of the people, to save them from the hand of Ahab and from living a life devoted to sin.
Elijah understood that.
Watch this space for Part 3
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…