We use cookies to collect general visitor statistics but not personal information. Privacy policy

Elijah and the priests of Baal

1 Kings 18:1-40
Elijah challenges the false prophets of Baal and Asherah to a contest.
Contributed by René Pfitzner
1
King Ahab and his wicked queen, Jezebel … – Slide 1
2
… had been leading the people of Israel astray by worshipping other gods. – Slide 2
3
The land is gripped by a terrible drought … – Slide 3
4
… while the prophets of God have been under siege by Jezebel’s orders to kill them. – Slide 4
5
The worship of Baal has flourished. – Slide 5
6
Elijah, God’s prophet, who has been in hiding, demanded to see King Ahab. – Slide 6
7
Ahab went to meet Elijah. – Slide 7
8
And when he found him shouted, ‘There you are. The biggest troublemaker in Israel.’ – Slide 8
9
Elijah answered, ‘You’re the troublemaker, not me.’ – Slide 9
10
‘You and your family have disobeyed God’s commands by worshipping Baal. – Slide 10
11
‘Call together everyone from Israel, and have them meet me at Mount Carmel. – Slide 11
12
‘Be sure to bring along the 450 prophets of Baal … – Slide 12
13
'… and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.’ – Slide 13
14
Ahab got everyone together. – Slide 14
15
Then they went to meet Elijah at Mount Carmel. – Slide 15
16
Elijah stood in front of them and said, ‘How much longer will you try to have things both ways. If the Lord is God, worship Him … – Slide 16
17
‘… but if Baal is god worship him.’ – Slide 17
18
The people did not say a word. Elijah continued … – Slide 18
19
… ‘I am the Lord’s only prophet, but Baal has 450 prophets. – Slide 19
20
‘Bring us two bulls. Baal’s prophets can kill one of them and cut it into pieces. Then they can put the meat on the wood without lighting the fire. – Slide 20
21
‘I will do the same thing with the other bull and I won’t light a fire under it either. The prophets of Baal will pray to their god and I will pray to the Lord. – Slide 21
22
‘The one who answers by starting the fire is God.’ Everyone agreed. ‘That’s a good idea.’ – Slide 22
23
Elijah said to Baal’s prophets, ‘There are more of you, so you go first. Pick out a bull and get it ready, but don’t light the fire. Then pray to your god.’ – Slide 23
24
They chose their bull then they got it ready. – Slide 24
25
They prayed to Baal all morning asking him to start the fire. – Slide 25
26
They danced around the altar and shouted, ‘Answer us Baal. But there was no answer. – Slide 26
27
At noon, Elijah started to make fun of them. ‘Pray louder! Baal must be a god. Maybe he is dreaming, or using the toilet or travelling somewhere? – Slide 27
28
‘Or, maybe he is asleep and you have to wake him up?' – Slide 28
29
The prophets keep shouting louder and louder. – Slide 29
30
And they cut themselves with swords and knives until they were bleeding. This was the way they worshipped. – Slide 30
31
And they kept up their shouting all afternoon but there was no answer from Baal. – Slide 31
32
Then Elijah called everyone to gather around him while he repaired the Lord’s altar. – Slide 32
33
He used 12 stones to build the altar. Each stone stood for one of the 12 tribes of Israel, which was the name God had given to their ancestor Jacob. – Slide 33
34
Elijah dug a ditch around the altar. Then he placed wood on the altar. A bull was cut into pieces and the meat was put on the wood. – Slide 34
35
The Elijah told the people, ‘Fill four large jars with water and pour it over the meat and wood. – Slide 35
36
After he did this he told them to do this two more times. They did exactly as he said and the water ran down the altar and filled the ditch. – Slide 36
37
When it was time for the evening sacrifice. Elijah prayed, ‘Lord, you are the God of Isaac and Israel. Prove that you are the God of this nation and that I, your servant, have done this at your command. Please answer me so these people will know that you are the Lord God and you will turn their hearts back to you.’ – Slide 37
38
The Lord immediately sent fire. – Slide 38
39
And it burned up the sacrifice, the wood and the stones. – Slide 39
40
It scorched the ground and everywhere around the altar and dried up every drop of water in the ditch. – Slide 40
41
When the crowds saw it they all bowed down and shouted, ‘The Lord is God! The Lord is God!’ – Slide 41
42
Just then Elijah said, ‘Grab the prophets of Baal. Don’t let any of them get away.’ – Slide 42
43
So the people captured the false prophets and took them down to the Kidron river where they were all executed. – Slide 43
44
Slide 44