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Elijah and the prophets of Baal

1 Kings 16:29 - 17:1, 18:1-46
Elijah has a contest with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.
Contributed by Moody Publishers
1
When Ahab became King of Israel he did more evil than all the Kings before him. – Slide 1
2
King Ahab not only turned away from God to worship Baal, but encouraged the whole nation to do the same. – Slide 2
3
People who refused to worship Baal were persecuted or driven out of the country. Every prophet of God who could be found was put to death. – Slide 3
4
Suddenly, one day, the King heard a voice burst out like a thunderclap and a stranger stood before him. – Slide 4
5
‘As the Lord God of Israel lives there will not be dew or rain until I say so.’ Elijah the prophet had arrived with a message from the Lord God. – Slide 5
6
People stood in stunned silence as Elijah turned and left. A prophet of God had not been heard for a long time, but they paid little attention to Elijah or God’s warning. – Slide 6
7
For three years no rain fell in the land of Israel. The grass disappeared from the hills. The cattle grew lean. Nothing grew in the field and people had less and less to eat. – Slide 7
8
In every home people were suffering from hunger. Unless rain fell soon there would be no food at all. They began thinking about Elijah’s warning. – Slide 8
9
When the King saw the land turning to desert and his animals dying of hunger, he sent messengers to find Elijah. – Slide 9
10
They all returned with the same response, ‘Elijah is nowhere to be found.’ The King sent messengers to every city and country around. – Slide 10
11
The messengers began to fear for their lives as the King became furious at their failure to find the prophet. – Slide 11
12
God then spoke to Elijah, ‘Go and show yourself to Ahab and I will send rain on the earth.’ – Slide 12
13
Elijah set off and saw Obadiah the King’s servant. The prophet said, ‘Go and tell your Ahab that Elijah has returned.’ Obadiah hurried back to the king. – Slide 13
14
King Ahab listened to Obadiah’s report and set off to find Elijah. – Slide 14
15
Elijah was not afraid and waited calmly for the King to arrive. – Slide 15
16
The king cried angrily, ‘Are you the one who has been troubling Israel?’ – Slide 16
17
Elijah answered, ‘I am not troubling Israel. You are! You have disobeyed the commandments of the Lord – Slide 17
18
‘You have worshiped the false god Baal.’ – Slide 18
19
Ahab could not answer the prophet of God. – Slide 19
20
The King listened as Elijah told him gather all the people of Israel and all the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Ahab agreed. – Slide 20
21
From every corner of the kingdom people came to Mount Carmel wondering what was going to happen. – Slide 21
22
Elijah wanted to let the people see that the Lord God had overwhelming power. – Slide 22
23
‘How long will you waver between two opinions?’ Elijah asked. ‘If the Lord is God follow Him. If Baal is god then follow him.’ – Slide 23
24
The people listened but would not reply. – Slide 24
25
Elijah proclaimed, ‘I am a lone prophet of the Lord but Baal has 450 prophets. – Slide 25
26
‘Let them prepare a sacrifice and I will do the same. We will not light the fire. They will call on Baal and I will call on the Lord and one who answers with fire, let Him be God. – Slide 26
27
The people agreed to the contest. – Slide 27
28
Elijah stood by as the prophets of Baal prepared their sacrifice and called on their god from morning until noon. – Slide 28
29
The prophets leaped and danced. ‘Oh Baal, hear us!’ But there was no answer from Baal. – Slide 29
30
At noon Elijah mocked the prophets. ‘Cry louder. Maybe Baal is talking or away on a journey. Maybe he’s asleep and needs to be woken.’ – Slide 30
31
The prophets of Baal cried louder than ever, leaping around in a wild frenzy begging their god to answer. They even cut themselves with knives that Baal might take pity on them. – Slide 31
32
The people watched but Baal did not answer. Elijah then called the people near him as he prepared his sacrifice. – Slide 32
33
First Elijah took twelve stones and rebuilt a broken altar of the Lord. – Slide 33
34
He put the wood in place and laid the sacrifice on the altar. – Slide 34
35
Next he made a trench all around the altar of the Lord and made a strange request. – Slide 35
36
He told the people to fill twelve large jars with water … – Slide 36
37
… and throw it all over the sacrifice until it was soaked and the trench was filled to the brim. – Slide 37
38
The people watched as Elijah came to the altar and prayed, ‘Lord God of Isreal, let it be known today that You are God and I am your servant who has done all these things at your command. – Slide 38
39
‘Hear me O Lord, so that these people will know you are the Lord God and turn back to you.’ – Slide 39
40
Suddenly the fire of the Lord fell. – Slide 40
41
The altar, the sacrifice, the water, even the dust of the ground was consumed by the fire. – Slide 41
42
The people fell on their faces and exclaimed, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!’ The whole nation worshipped the Lord as the only living God. – Slide 42
43
Only then did Elijah begin to think about rain. He went up to the top of Mount Carmel and fell on the ground to pray. Then he told his servant to go and look out to sea for a rain cloud. – Slide 43
44
The servant reported there was nothing. Elijah kept praying and sent the servant seven times to look for rain. The seventh time the servant reported ‘There is a small cloud the size of a man’s hand rising out of the sea.’ – Slide 44
45
Elijah sent his servant to King Ahab to tell him the rain was coming. The people had repented and turned back to God and the Lord blessed them with rain and food once more. (Acts 3:19). – Slide 45
46
Slide 46