1 Kings 18: Elijah slaughters the prophets of Baal (metaphorically and literally)

Synopsis:

After 3 years of drought, Elijah comes back to Israel to speak to King Ahab and bring back the rain. Ahab asks Elijah why he has troubled the land with drought. Elijah says, I didn’t, you did by forsaking God and following Baalim. Elijah then proposes a contest of gods. Let’s go to mount Carmel. Bring 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves which eat at Jezebel’s table.  Slaughter 2 bulls.  They choose the bulls. We will put it on wood but light no fire. They called on Baal from morning until noon to light the fire. The fire remained unlit. Elijah mocked them. At evening, Elijah built an altar using 12 stones for the 12 tribes of Israel. He poured water over the wood and bully 3 times. Then he prayed and the fire of the Lord consumed the sacrifice and evaporated all the water.  The prophets of Baal, upon Elijah’s orders were all killed. A big storm came and Ahab took his chariot to Jezreel, but Elijah beat him there.

In other words:

God beats Baal in a BBQ contest.

Favorite bit:

1 Kings 18:27-29 – And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and sai, Cry aloud: for he is a god,; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.  And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, still the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, and there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regards. (Sure, it’s all good for Elijah to say this, but when atheists say these same exact things we are blaspheming. From now on I think anybody trying to make a point to Christians about the inefficacy of prayer – only needs to cite 1 Kings 18:27 –if your god doesn’t answer – you don’t speak for him.)

Side note:

1 Kings 18:4 – When Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah (house manager for Ahab), took 100 prophets and hid them in a cave and fed them with bread and water.


Coolest bit:

This is a REALLY cool test of god strength. And how could you doubt a god who create a fire that consumed a water soaked altar?


Moral Lesson Learned:

Don’t promise things you can’t deliver. (1 Kings 18)