The ultimate challenge

1 Kings 17-21

Well, I missed a reading/blogging day yesterday due to a daughter mini-crisis.  She’s eleven…so it doesn’t take much to create a dramatic production!  All is well now, and the Lord is making her into HIS young woman right before my eyes.  What a privilege it is to see…

Tonight I’m combining yesterday’s readings with today’s readings.  One of the boldest stories I’ve ever read in the Bible centers around the prophet Elijah and his confrontation with the 450 “priests” who served Baal.

Elijah was the last prophet of God left; Ahab’s wife Jezebel was having prophets killed all over the place.  Elijah set up a simple challenge to show which was the real God.  He drew a dramatic picture: two altars.  Two bulls, both cut up.  The Baal followers on one side, Elijah on the other.  A crowd stands, watching what will happen.  Elijah has them try to get Baal to light the fire under the bull.  Nothing happens.  Then it was Elijah’s turn.

As if it wasn’t enough for God to answer his prayer to light the fire under His altar, Elijah layers on an additional challenge by having the entire altar and the bull soaked with water.  It was going to take a massive amount of power to light up that sacrifice due to all the wet wood.

Guess who won?  God won, of course…and the people who were watching fell on their faces in awe of the REAL Lord.

I’m not sure why that story grips me so much.  Maybe it’s the drama — I can “see” it unfold in my mind’s eye.  I love watching challenges when the Lord wins over His people through miraculous means…and I love knowing that He is STILL in the business of the miraculous.

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