Daily Devotional 1 Kings 18:20–40
Sometimes we call on God, asking Him to act, asking Him to reveal Himself or to remedy a dire situation. And sometimes He responds with dramatic intervention.
Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God.
1 KINGS 18:24
Today we jump forward in biblical history to the time of Israel’s kings. First Kings 1–11 chronicles the rise and fall of Solomon whose love for foreign women ultimately caused his spiritual demise. Upon Solomon’s death, the kingdom divided. Jeroboam reigned over the ten tribes of Israel in the north, and Rehoboam ruled over Judah and Benjamin in the south. Jeroboam did evil in the sight of the Lord, as did all other eighteen kings in Israel. Ahab was the seventh (1 Kings 16:28), and he was even more evil than any other king before him (16:30).
Ahab and his wife Jezebel worshiped Baal who they believed controlled the rain and all fertility. In 1 Kings 17, Elijah the prophet visited Ahab, predicting a drought—God’s punishment for their idolatry. The drought caused widespread famine. In the third year, God instructed Elijah to approach Ahab again. He would bring rain, but not without a showdown.
On Elijah’s instruction, Ahab assembled 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah at Mount Carmel. Elijah addressed the starving crowd first: “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him” (v. 21).
Elijah instructed the Baal prophets to prepare a sacrifice. All day, they called (qara) on Baal to bring fire. They danced and cut themselves. Yet, “there was no response” (v. 29). Then it was Elijah’s turn. After soaking his altar three times, Elijah called (qara) on the Lord, asking Him to show Himself as God. And the fire of the Lord fell, consuming everything: offering, wood, stone, water, dust. When the people saw it, they fell on their faces, saying, “The LORD he is God!” (v. 39).
>> Elijah’s story should inspire great confidence in you today. We call upon a God who hears and answers! Our God alone is sovereign. Call on Him today and be confident in His power.
Pray with Us
Father, we continue to trust You even when You don’t respond in spectacular ways. And when You do so clearly intervene in our lives, we are grateful for tangible assurance of Your love and care for us!