Elijah humiliated the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. He challenged King Ahab’s 450 Baal prophets to a test by fire. ‘If your god sends fire, then he is the true God. If the God of Israel sends fire, then he is God!’ Elijah mocked the Baal prophets as they tried to summon their fake god. They danced, screamed and self-mutilating themselves, but it was all in vain. Elijah didn’t want it to look too easy. He rebuilt the broken altar of God, put a sacrifice on the wood and drenched it all with water three times. He simply prayed for fire from above, and down it came, consuming the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the water.It was indeed the highlight of Elijah’s ministry.
But Elijah’s victory was King Ahab’s defeat. However, it was Jezebel who swore revenge upon the prophet, and Elijah responded by running for his life. Jezebel had done something no man could do—she instilled fear into Israel’s greatest prophet. Elijah fled to Mount Horeb. There God confronted him in his isolation: ‘Why are you here, Elijah?” Elijah’s response was that of a man who had given this a lot of thought: Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1Kg.19:14). God went through this ‘question and answer’ scenario with Elijah twice. In between were the display of violent winds, an earthquake, and fire. All with the message that God did not reveal Himself to Elijah in any of these dramatic ways. It was in the “sound of a gentle blowing” that God revealed Himself. Though victorious in his stand for godliness in Israel, especially on Mount Carmel, Elijah became overwhelmed at the threat made on his life. It all resulted in feeling alone!
God assured him that He had “7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1Kg.19:18). We are never alone. The Lord’s church is ever alive and advancing. The writer of Hebrews reminds us: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear;what can man do to me?” (Heb.13:5-6)John Staiger