Elijah and the Prophets of Baal – 1 Kings 18
King Ahab had a wife named Jezebel. She was a wicked woman, and had many prophets of the Lord killed. But a man named Obediah, who was governor of Ahab’s house, hid 100 prophets in a cave and fed them, because he feared the Lord very much. And it came to pass that Elijah the prophet was travelling to see King Ahab and he met Obediah, and Elijah sent Obediah to King Ahab to tell him that Elijah was coming. When Ahab saw Elijah he said “Are you the one that is bringing trouble to Israel?” and Elijah answered him “You and your father’s house have not followed the commandments of the LORD. Now send for and gather together all Israel and the prophets of Baal (who was their false god) at Mount Carmel, 850 of them altogether.” 450 and 400 more.
So Ahab gathered all the prophets together. And Elijah came to all the people and said “How long are you going to go back and forth? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him.
Then Elijah said “Only I remain a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Let them give us two bulls, they are to choose one bull, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under it, and I will do the same thing and lay it on wood, and put no fire under it. Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answers by fire, let him be God.” And all the people answered and said “That is well spoken”.
So the prophets of Baal took the bull which was given them, and killed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning to noon, saying “O Baal, hear us.” But there was no voice, nor any answer. And they jumped upon the altar which was made, and it was broken down.
At noon, Elijah made fun of them and said “Cry out loud, for he is a god, either he is talking, or he is chasing, or he is on a journey, or maybe he is sleeping and must be woken up.” And they cried out loud. And it happened when noon was past and they prophesied until the evening that there was neither voice, nor any answer.
Elijah said to the prophets, “Come near me”. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. Then Elijah took 12 stones, one for each tribe of Israel, and built an altar in the name of the LORD. He made a trench around the altar, and he put the wood in order. After that he cut the bull in pieces and laid him on the wood, and said “Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the bull and on the wood.” And again a second time, and a third time, and the water filled the trench. At the time of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came close and said “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Hear me O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that you are the LORD God, and that you have turned their heart back again.”
Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the bull, the wood, the stones, the dust, and the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and they said THE LORD, HE IS THE GOD; THE LORD, HE IS THE GOD! And Elijah said to them “Take the prophets of Baal, let none of them escape. And they were taken and Elijah slew them there.
Memory Verse: 1 Kings 18:37 “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that you are the LORD God……
1. What was the reason that Elijah told Ahab that there was trouble in Israel? Answer: That Israel had not followed the commandments of the LORD.
2. How many prophets of Baal came to Elijah? Answer: 450 and 400 more
3. What did the prophets of Baal do when their prayers did not bring fire? Answer: They jumped on the altar and broke it down.
4. What extra thing did Elijah do before he prayed to the Lord? Answer: He put a great amount of water all over the bull and the wood and filled the trench.
5. What did the people say when they saw the fire burn the water? Answer: They said “THE LORD HE IS THE GOD, THE LORD HE IS THE GOD.”
6. What happened to the prophets of Baal? Answer: They were slain by Elijah.