1 Kings 18:38 – Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
We re-enter the scene which is the crux of Elijah’s battle against King Ahab, his 850 false prophets, and their evil worship of the demonic false god Baal. They have tried for hours to get Baal, who was supposed to be the god of rain, to make it rain to no avail. Now it’s Elijah’s turn.
Elijah begins by honoring God through rebuilding the altar which had belonged to the Lord but had been destroyed when the worship sites for God were torn down. Elijah then has the entire sacrifice drenched in water (possibly salt water which was available nearby as fresh water was scarce from the drought) to show God’s power without question.
Unlike demonic false prophets who sought to control through witchcraft, Elijah merely prays to God, who is free to do as He pleases and cannot be controlled or manipulated by anyone.
God then sends fire from Heaven that consumes the bull, the stones, and even the water and dirt. This moment had to look something like a military airstrike from Heaven, exactly on target arriving in an instant, reminiscent of the days when God did the same on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24; Luke 17:29).
What they really wanted was rain and what they got was fire. God often works this way, giving us what we need before giving us what we want. The fire they needed came first and, as we will see, the rain they needed came next.
Once again, we see the power of prayer as Elijah’s simple prayer is answered by God in power. Stunned, the people fell and worshipped the Lord. In this instant, it was obvious who the true versus false prophets were and who the true God was versus the false gods.
Elijah then had the 850 false prophets slaughtered. Why? Because they were so demon possessed that, like Judas many yeasr later, they would never repent or change. They would only continue to do evil and invite the demonic back into Israel. Had this not been true, they would have fallen and worshipped the Lord with the people when fire came down from Heaven, but they did not. Evil does not stop itself, and so it must be stopped.
Have you ever seen God show up in such a way that people had no choice but to worship Him?
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