1 Kings 18:16-29 slowly and repeatedly.
Main content of the text: Elijah appears to Ahab and proposes a confrontation with the prophets Baal and Asherah on Mount Carmel. The prophets of Baal cry out and pray, but receive no answer.
Verses 16-20 Ahab calls Elijah ‘the troubler of Israel’ (Joshua 7:25). I believe that rain will only come when Elijah, the main culprit who made Israel suffer by angering Baal, the rain god, is punished. However, the main culprit that caused the drought was Ahab, and the cause was his idolatry. The drought will end only when he kills the prophets of God and destroys the prophets of Baal and Asherah who took their place.
Verses 20-24 A long time ago, when Achan’s identity was revealed, Israel resolved the issue with one mind (Joshua 7:25). However, even though the prophets of Baal, who had tormented Israel, were gathered together, the people limped between Baal and God. This ‘limping’ is the same word as the ritual of the prophets of Baal (limping, ‘playing’ around the altar, verse 26). We can see that the people have become assimilated into the dance moves of the altar of Baal and are leaving the altar of Jehovah in ruins. In a confrontation that seemed to favor Baal, the god of rain and lightning, only when the unfavorable conditions of Elijah facing 450 men alone were presented, they who remained silent responded, “It is right.” In this way, it is a fiction to serve both Jehovah God and the world of Baal. The very belief that this is possible comes from Baal.
Verses 22-25 Elijah had the prophets of Baal choose the sacrifice first, and the location of the confrontation was set at Baal’s main shrine. They are given the opportunity to take advantage of their numerical superiority and pray for as many as six hours using fire, Baal’s main specialty, as a fighting sport. They have the full support of the king and the people. Although conditions are overwhelmingly unfavorable to Elijah as they were when he moved from the Cherith brook to Zarephath, all the people will now see the power of the living God that the widow of Zarephath saw.
Verses 26-29 Baal does not respond. He cries out in vain, hurts himself and seeks help, but there is no answer. For he is an unanswerable God, and not a living God. But because our God is a living person, He will not be manipulated by material offering and emotional excitement.
Community Prayer – Help us to live in fear of the living Lord, not in a hesitant and limping faith.
Prayer for the Nations – As AI (artificial intelligence) technology develops, concerns are being raised that it will be used to persecute Christians. Let us pray that a protection law for minority religions will be established and that social unrest will not be created due to censorship by artificial intelligence.