At the time of the sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.”
I Kings 18:36
Elijah was the prophet of Israel. A prophet spoke the word of the Lord to God’s people to bring truth and conviction and turn them back to God. King Ahab was king of Israel, and his queen Jezebel worshipped the pagan god Baal. King Ahab allowed the worship of Baal: Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger him than did all the kings of Israel before him. (I Kings 16:33) Ahab elevated the worship of Baal to an official status in the northern kingdom at the beginning of his reign. God sent His judgment on Israel by causing a draught for three years.
Then he called Elijah the prophet to present himself to Ahab to tell him that the source of the drought was the breach of covenant with the one true God. Elijah went to Ahab and told him that because he and his people had abandoned all of God’s commands, it was time to see the display of God’s power. Elijah told Ahab to summon all Israel and the 400 prophets of Baal.
He instructed the prophets of Baal to prepare a sacrifice with a bull offering and put it on wood but to not light fire under it. The god who answered by fire would be the true God. From morning until noon, the prophets of Baal cried out to their god, but he did not show up with fire. Elijah called on Jehovah God, and after pouring water on his altar of sacrifice three times, he prayed: O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. (v.36) God sent fire and the sacrifice was consumed. Elijah had the false prophets of Baal killed, and Jezebel threatened to have Elijah killed. He ran away, ending up in a cave of despair when God showed up and spoke to him. Elijah represents the people of God who share His Word, His truth. He saw God move in a miraculous way and then he fled in fear.
The spirit of Jezebel causes fear and seeks to destroy the prophets of God. Are you walking in the spirit of Elijah, proclaiming God’s Word, or has the spirit of Jezebel caused you to be fearful, placing you in the cave of despair? When God spoke to Elijah on the mountain, he was strengthened in his call and able to obey God’s next command. If you are discouraged by your influence in a world that does not care to hear about God, be careful not to fall into the trap of fear but stand on the truth of God’s Word. He will deliver you as you stand on His Word.
I have tried to live Your Word and to speak Your Word, but I have been rejected and am hiding in the cave of disappointment and discouragement. Like Elijah, I have believed a lie that I am the only one who seeks Your truth. Forgive my agreement with that lie and show me, as You did Elijah, my fellow Christians who stand beside me in the fight.
In Jesus’ name, Amen