1 Kings 18:25-29
On the day of the big event, the epic showdown, the Super Bowl of all competitions, Baal wins the coin toss. All 450 of Baal’s prophets are lined up and pitted again Elijah in the battle to see whose god will show up. Emotions in the crowd mount into a strange mixture of fear and anticipation.
Elijah gives Baal’s prophets an advantage, allowing them to choose their bull, prepare their sacrificial meat, and place it on the altar first. In a sort of spiritual pep rally, the prophets of Baal surround the altar and begin to call upon their god to light the flame for the not-yet burnt offering.
“Light the fire! Light the fire!”
Nothing. (Perhaps Baal prefers steak tartare, some may have wondered.) The false prophets keep calling out from morning to noon, but without any reply.
Time to up the ante, they think. If Baal won’t listen to their loud cries and pleas, perhaps blood will motivate him. In a state of frenzy, they cut themselves to demonstrate their utter devotion. Surely, their god of thunder would see their dedication, hear their cries, and make an appearance, plus provide a little spark for the firewood.
Following hours of this, Elijah begins taunting the opposing team: “Where is your god? Perhaps he stepped out or is taking a nap?” Elijah perfects the art of trash talking. He’s convinced that his God will show up and be victorious. The prophet has already been assured of the One he worships. Elijah’s trust in God comes from his experiences rather than a long-shot hope.
When have you felt the kind of confidence in God that Elijah expresses?
God, thank you for showing up in our lives and assuring us of your promise to never leave or forsake your children. Amen.