1 Kings 18:30-46 slowly and repeatedly.
The main content of the text: When Elijah rebuilds the collapsed altar and prays, fire comes down from heaven and burns the water-soaked sacrifice. After proving that he is the only true god, God sends rain as promised.
Verses 38-40 God sends down fire. He burns not only the sacrifices, but also imperishable stones and fire-wet earth. He proves to Himself, “Jehovah, He is God,” and exposes who truly was ‘the one who troubles Israel’ (verse 17). Now the people must execute Baal worshipers just as they executed Achan (Joshua 7:25). It is a call to get rid of your hesitant faith and resolutely choose only God.
What lesson does God give me?
Verses 30-32a The collapsed altar symbolizes a broken religious conscience, severed religious traditions, and a forgotten covenant. In front of a people who were torn into ten tribes and indulged in idolatry, Elijah piled up twelve stones symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel to remind them of their identity. This shows the purpose of the Mount Carmel confrontation. Before eradicating the idols we see, let us first shrink the altar of our desolate heart that created those idols.
Verses 32b-35 Elijah completely saturates the altar with water and fills the area around the altar with water. He completely blocks the possibility of spontaneous combustion. If the sacrifice is burned, it cannot be denied that it was God’s doing and not any trick. Elijah has maintained unfavorable conditions throughout the match. This is because God’s power is fully revealed in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Verses 36,37 Unlike the prophets of Baal, who danced, screamed, and harmed themselves all day long to control Baal, Elijah prays for an ‘answer’ from the living God, who had already ‘heard’ his prayer (17:22). Although it appears less passionate than the prophets of Baal, it is a God-centered prayer that clearly knows what it is praying for, and it is a prayer that seeks the kingdom of God and its righteousness.
Verses 41-46 Elijah, who prayed for fire, now prays for rain. The sight of him putting his face between his knees shows that he is so tired that he has difficulty holding himself up, but is also desperate. Because Elijah believed the promise, he prayed seven times without giving up, and was confident that it would rain even after seeing a ‘cloud as small as a hand.’ Is my life filled with pray that help me sense these ‘small clouds as small as my hand’?
Community Prayer – Lord, help me live by proving that Jehovah is the only true God and that I am your faithful people.
Prayer for the nations – Young people are leaving the church and moving away from service and service. Let us pray that the church will prepare young people and develop good training programs so that they can grow into the next generation of leaders.