“I’m not the troublemaker,” Elijah answered. “You are—you and your father. You are disobeying the Lord’s commands and worshiping the idols of Baal. Now order all the people of Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel. Bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah who are supported by Queen Jezebel.”
Good morning friends. By way of background, please allow me give a synopsis of this scenario. Israel was delivered by Yahweh from Egypt with mighty hands. The power of His hands were demonstrated through great signs and wonders, including the division of the Red Sea for safe passage enroute to the Promised Land, and leading them by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night – what an awesome sight? Just a take a second to imagine the degree of fear that consumed the surrounding nations.
Fast forward generations later, Yahweh had been forsaken for the gods of their Canaanite neighbours and enemies. The worship of Baal and Asherah became so dominant, alienating worshipers of Yahweh, hence the title of this thought – 850 against 1!
Today we face the same predicaments in the church. In the words of Paul to his son in the faith, Timothy;
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
So, back to my opening text. Elijah confronts king Ahab and demands for a power encounter with the false prophets on Mount Carmel, in full view of the citizens of the nation. Elijah then made this charge to the people;
How much longer will it take you to make up your minds? If the Lord is God, worship him; but if Baal is God, worship him!” But the people didn’t say a word.
He asked for two bulls; one for himself and the other for the false prophets. The sacrifice that is consumed by fire would be that of the superior God. The people gave their approval, and Elijah suggested that the false prophets have the first go.
His opponents cried all day, but to no avail. Elijah then stepped in, erected the alter that had been forsaken by the people, built a trench around it, prepared his bull, and asked for gallons of water to be poured on it. Then he called fire from heaven, Yahweh answered consuming the alter with holy fire!
In bringing this thought to a close, I’m reminded of the words of Jude, I leave it with you as a prayer, encouraging you to hold on and stand your ground for the almighty God. It doesn’t matter what the majority are doing, it won’t be long, He comes with judgement and rewards.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.