Old Testament Story List

Jehovah or Baal?

In the third year of the drought, the Lord came to Elijah and said, "Go before Ahab in Samaria, and I will send rain upon the earth."

When Ahab saw Elijah he said, "Is it you who have brought this drought and famine to Israel?"

Fearlessly, Elijah made answer, "It is you, your wife Jezebel, and your

household who have forsaken the commandments of the Lord. You are responsible for Israel's trouble. You have ordered the destruction of the prophets of the Lord, but the prophets of Baal flourish. Therefore send for them to gather on Mt. Carmel all the prophets of Baal, and the people of Israel."

When they were all gathered together, Elijah spoke to them. "How long will it take you to make up your minds? If the Lord is God, follow Him; if not, then follow Baal." The people, completely awed by seeing Elijah so fearless, answered not a word.

"I lone am prophet of the Lord," he went on, "but there are here four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. Give us therefore two bullocks to sacrifice. Let them choose one, kill and prepare it, lay it on wood but put no fire under it. I will do likewise. Then let them call on Baal to light their fire, and I will call on the Lord. Let the one who answers be your God."

The people were willing, so the sacrifices were prepared. The prophets of Baal prayed all morning. They cried aloud, and tore their garments, but there was no answer of any kind - their sacrifice did not burn.

When evening fell, Elijah came forward. He took twelve stones, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, and made an altar. He dug a trench round about the altar; he cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood which he had set in order. Then he said to the people, "Fill four barrels with water and pour it over the sacrifice and on the wood." They did so three times, until the trench was filled with water.

Then Elijah prayed aloud, "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel! Let it be known that You are God of Israel, that I am Your servant and have done only as You have commanded. Hear me, so that these people may know You are the true God and will turn their hearts to You again."

And the fire of the Lord fell and consumed not only the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones but all the water in the trench as well.

When the people saw it they fell to the ground on their faces, saying, "The Lord is our God." And Elijah said to them, "Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape." And they took them and slew them, every one.

Elijah now said to Ahab, "Get up. Eat and drink, for there will be an abundance of rain."

A strong wind blew up, driving great black rain clouds across the sky. Ahab got into his chariot to ride down to the city before the great rain should overtake him. As the storm broke, the hand of the Lord gave strength to Elijah, and he ran the whole way before Ahab to the entrance of the city.

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