Read 1 Kings 18:20-39
20 So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and the prophets of Baal to meet at Mount Carmel. 21Elijah went up to the people and said, “How much longer will it take you to make up your minds? If the Lord is God, worship him; but if Baal is God, worship him!” But the people didn’t say a word.
[22Then Elijah said, “I am the only prophet of the Lord still left, but there are 450 prophets of Baal. 23Bring two bulls; let the prophets of Baal take one, kill it, cut it in pieces, and put it on the wood—but don’t light the fire. I will do the same with the other bull. 24Then let the prophets of Baal pray to their god, and I will pray to the Lord, and the one who answers by sending fire—he is God.” The people shouted their approval. ]
25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Since there are so many of you, you take a bull and prepare it first. Pray to your god, but don’t set fire to the wood.”
26 They took the bull that was brought to them, prepared it, and prayed to Baal until noon. They shouted, “Answer us, Baal!” and kept dancing round the altar they had built. But no answer came.
27 At noon Elijah started making fun of them: “Pray louder! He is a god! Maybe he is daydreaming or relieving himself, or perhaps he’s gone on a journey! Or maybe he’s sleeping, and you’ve got to wake him up!” 28So the prophets prayed louder and cut themselves with knives and daggers, according to their ritual, until blood flowed. 29They kept on ranting and raving until the middle of the afternoon; but no answer came, not a sound was heard.
30 Then Elijah said to the people, “Come closer to me,” and they all gathered round him. He set about repairing the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. 31He took twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes named after the sons of Jacob, the man to whom the Lord had given the name Israel. 32With these stones he rebuilt the altar for the worship of the Lord. He dug a trench round it, large enough to hold almost 14 litres of water. 33Then he placed the wood on the altar, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the offering and the wood.” They did so, 34and he said, “Do it again”—and they did. “Do it once more,” he said—and they did. 35The water ran down round the altar and filled the trench.
36 At the hour of the afternoon sacrifice the prophet Elijah approached the altar and prayed, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove now that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant and have done all this at your command. 37Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people will know that you, the Lord, are God, and that you are bringing them back to yourself.”u
38 The Lord sent fire down, and it burnt up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones, scorched the earth and dried up the water in the trench. 39When the people saw this, they threw themselves on the ground and exclaimed, “The Lord is God; the Lord alone is God!”
Elijah challenges the people to choose which God they will worship: Baal or Yahweh.
He sets up a contest to see whose God is a living God.
Elijah and the priests of Baal set up offerings - both are to wait until their God consumes their offering. The priests of Baal dance and shout but nothing happens.
When Elijah pleads - God answers with fire and consumes the sacrifice.
Living God, live in me.