Thursday, July 21, 2016

Let the Showdown Begin

O. T. #796  "Let the Showdown Begin"
July 21, 2016
1 Kings 18-Part 3
The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!  1 Kings 18:24


Elijah's primary assignment was to announce when a drought would begin and end (1 Kings 17:1). god had told him  to proclaim to king Ahab that the drought was an act of judgment upon a people who worshiped idols rather than God. (Blackaby)

All of Israel was present; the 450 prophets of Baal was present; King Ahab was present, as well as Prophet Elijah. It was time to let the showdown begin. (However, Jezebel and her 400 prophets of Asherah were not present.)

  • Elijah challenged Israel to stop hopping back and forth between two opinions; if the LORD is God, then worship Him, or if Baal is god, then worship him. In other words, stop hopping from one branch to another like a bird without deciding where to sit. Make a decision today.
  • How long would Israel wait? How many more sermons to hear while they keep rejecting God? How many more wasted Sundays worshiping both deities? How many more warnings, graves, years of drought before they turned to God in repentance? What about us?
  • How did the people respond? They were completely silent.
  • Elijah requested two bulls for the sacrifices; he even let the prophets of Baal choose which one they would use as a sacrifice, cutting it into pieces and laying it on the wood of their altar of Baal worship, without setting it on fire.
  • Elijah did the same, preparing a wooden altar on which to sacrifice the bull to his God, El Shaddiah, without setting it on fire.
  • Boththe prophets of Baal and Elijah were to call upon the name of their god.
What was the challenge? The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God! Notice that all the people agreed to this challenge in verse 24.

Are you hopping around, Sunday to Sunday, without direction for your life? May I suggest the solution? Bow down and submit to the One True God at His altar of sacrifice.


So, the altars and sacrifices were ready without fire. Whichever god lit he fire proved himself to be the most powerful-Jehovah or Baal. Perhaps you have read or heard this story many times and know the outcome. Yet, there may be some of you who do not know what happens. Either way, please stay with me.

What occurs this day?
  • Elijah lets Baal's prophets go first. They prepared the bull and placed it upon their altar.
  • Then they called upon the name of Baal, from morning to noon, praying and shouting.
  • There was no answer, so they danced and hobbled around the altar they had made.

How did Elijah react? Liberty Bible Commentary gives us insight.
At noon, Elijah began mocking the Baal prophets:
  • Cry aloud; speak up so he can hear you, for you say he is a god.
  • Perhaps he is talking, musing, thinking the matter over. 
  • Or he is pursuing or gone aside, a euphemism for reliving himself.
  • Or he is on a journey, contrasting or God whose presence we cannot escape. (P. 39:7-10)
  • Or he sleepeth, yet the God that kept Israel neither slumbered nor slept. (Ps. 121:3-4)
Hoping to arouse Baal's attention, the prophets submitted themselves to self-torture by slashing themselves with knives and lances. They worked themselves into a frenzy, didn't they? Such a barbarious religion. Through it all, in spite of all its prophets had done, Baal still did not respond by evening. Of course not, for he was only a non-living idol made of stone and man's hands.

God makes a spectacular entrance on the scene, but we will discuss it tomorrow.

Power, status, appearance, or material possessions can become our gods if we devote our lives to them. but when we reach times of crisis and desperately call out to these gods, there will only be silence.  The can offer no true answers, no guidance, and no wisdom.  (Life Application Study Bible)

To what extremes do people go to serve their gods? To get answers?
Some are willing to die or kill others for their false god.


Turn from any idols in my life in repentance.

Cling to the One and Only True God.

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