During the time of Elijah, Ahab was king of Israel, and Jezebel was queen. They did not obey God and they worshiped idols, the god Baal and the goddess Asherah. During this time there was a terrible drought. For three years no rain fell, and there was almost nothing to eat anywhere. Then the Lord told Elijah, "Go and meet with King Ahab. I will soon make it rain." So Elijah went to see Ahab.
When Ahab saw Elijah, he shouted, "There you are, the biggest troublemaker in Israel!"
Elijah answered: “YOU’RE the troublemaker! You have disobeyed the Lord by worshiping Baal. Call together everyone from Israel and have them meet me on Mount Carmel. Be sure to bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel's table. “
Ahab got all the people together, then they went to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel. Elijah stood in front of them and said, "How much longer will you try to have things both ways? If the Lord is God, worship God! But if Baal is God, worship Baal!"
The people did not say a word. Elijah continued: “Bring us two bulls. Baal's prophets can take one of them, kill it, and cut it into pieces. Then they can put the meat on the wood without lighting the fire. I will do the same thing with the other bull, and I won't light a fire under it either.
“The prophets of Baal will pray to their god, and I will pray to the Lord. The one who answers by starting the fire is God.”
"That's a good idea," everyone agreed.
Baal's prophets chose their bull, then they got it ready and prayed to Baal all morning, asking him to start the fire. They danced around the altar and shouted, "Answer us, Baal!" But there was no answer.
At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. "Pray louder!" he said. "Maybe Baal is day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he's asleep, and you have to wake him up."
The prophets kept shouting louder and louder, and they cut themselves with swords and knives until they were bleeding. This was the way they worshiped. But there was no answer.
Then Elijah used twelve stones to build an altar in honor of the Lord. Each stone stood for one of the tribes of Israel. Elijah dug a ditch around the altar. He placed the wood on the altar, then they cut the bull into pieces and laid the meat on the wood.
Elijah told the people, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it over the meat and the wood." After they did this, he told them to do it two more times. They did as he said until finally, the water ran down the altar and filled the ditch.
When it was time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah prayed: “Our Lord, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Now, prove that you are the God of this nation, and that I, your servant, have done this at your command. Please answer me, so these people will know that you are the Lord God, and that you will turn their hearts back to you.
The Lord immediately sent fire, and it burned up the meat, the wood, and the stones. It scorched the ground everywhere around the altar and dried up every drop of water in the ditch. When the crowd saw what had happened, they all bowed down and shouted, "The Lord is God! The Lord is God!"
Not long afterwards, it got very cloudy and windy, and rain started pouring down. The drought was ended.
“You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:35 NIV
Act out the story and learn how to identify true and false prophets in Apostle's Playhouse
Play games to decide who are false modern day prophets in Antioch Arcade
Use puppets to find out more about false prophets and God in Praising Puppets
How strong was Elijah’s faith? Find out in Holywood
Thank you to our Curriculum Design Team: Carole Rhodes, Lee Smith, Sara Ridings, Allison Connors, Angela Farthing, Robin Morris, Amy Woynicz, Stephanie Arnold, and Lori Houck.