A Breath of Fresh Air

Glimpse the Living God.

Location: Virginia, United States

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fire From Heaven

Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. (1 Kings 18:21)

There were 450 of us surrounding the freshly slaughtered bull. "O Baal, answer us!" we shouted. There was no answer. We were dismayed. How could our god desert us at a time when we needed him most? Silence fell among the people.

Then, from somewhere in the crowd, a drum. Then, a flute, a tambourine, and all at once, the musicians were playing and people started dancing, singing, chanting. We clung to each other, the rhythm compelling our movements. All at once, someone's mouth was on mine, someone's arms around me. We cried and moved and loved. Still there was no answer.

We took rocks and buried them in our skin, slashing legs and arms until blood and sweat flowed. Surely our god would be pleased with us.

Darkness. And still our fire was unlit. Our sacrifice a stinking mass of flesh.

Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." (1Kings 18:30)

Partially clothed, still bleeding, dirty, hot, and weary, we approached the alter of Elijah's God. His
bull was in pieces, resting on planks of wood, and surrounded by twelve stones. He had dug a trench around it and directed us to fill four large jars with water and pour it on his offering three times.

The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. (1Kings 18:35)

At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." (1Kings 18:36-37)

Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord-he is God! The Lord-he is God!" (1Kings 18:38-39)
Reading 2 Kings in July