Elijah Confronted Evil Ahab
This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, our journey takes us to a power-encounter between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, a false god. King Ahab was a very evil king. In fact, “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:33).
God sent Elijah the prophet to get Ahab’s attention. God prevented rain in the land for three years. For Ahab, a man who worshiped Baal—the false Canaanite god of rain and fertility—the drought sent a strong message about the one true God. When God was ready to send rain to the earth, Elijah appeared to Ahab and told him to gather all the people and the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. Elijah issued a challenge to the people: Follow God or follow Baal.
Imagine what it must have been like to watch the thousand prophets of Baal face off against the one true God and His prophet. The prophets of Baal shouted to their false god. They cried out. They even cut themselves. Where was Baal? Why didn’t he answer? When it was Elijah’s turn, Elijah drenched his altar with water. Then Elijah called out to God, and God answered with fire from heaven that consumed the offering, the wood, the stones, the dust, and even the water in the trench Elijah dug. The people fell facedown, shouting “Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!”
Elijah called on the power of God to prove to the worshipers of Baal that God is the one true God. By sending fire from heaven, God displayed His great power. God would use His power years later to raise Jesus from the dead, showing that Jesus is the Son of God.
Elijah Confronted Evil Ahab
1 Kings 18
King Ahab was king over Israel. He was an evil king, leading the Israelites away from God. They worshiped Baal (BAY uhl), a false god, instead. The things King Ahab did made God angry, and God caused
a drought. The drought would show King Ahab and all the people that God—not Baal—is powerful and in control of all things.
A drought made life very hard. No rain or dew fell in the land. Without rain, people could not grow crops in the elds. The lakes and rivers dried up. Finally, after three years, God was ready to send rain.
God used a prophet named Elijah to send a message to King Ahab.
When Ahab met Elijah, Ahab said, “Is that you, troubler of Israel?” King Ahab blamed Elijah for the drought and the hard times in the land.
“You have caused this trouble by disobeying God and worshiping false gods,” Elijah replied. Then Elijah invited King Ahab, the Israelites, and all of the people who worshiped Baal to gather at Mount Carmel.
Elijah stood in front of the crowd and said, “Make up your minds! If you believe the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.”
Elijah set up a challenge to show who the one true God is. The worshipers of Baal set up an altar for their false god. They prepared a bull and put it on their altar.
“You call to Baal,” Elijah told the people, “and ask him to send re to your altar. I will call on the Lord. The God who answers by re is the one true God.”
The worshipers of Baal agreed. From morning until noon, they cried out to Baal. “Baal, answer us!” But no one answered. The people danced and cried and cut their bodies. Still, no one answered.
Elijah gathered the people around him. He dug a trench around his altar, prepared a bull, and put it on a pile of wood. Then Elijah asked for four jars of water to be poured on the wood. When the wood and the bull were wet, he asked for more water. A third time, water was poured over the altar, and it ran down and lled the trench.
Then Elijah prayed to God, “Answer me, Lord! Answer me so that these people will know that You, Yahweh, are God.”
God answered Elijah. He sent re from the sky, and the re burned up the bull and the wood and the stones and the dust. It burned up the water that was in the trench. There was no doubt that the Lord is the one true God.
The men who had worshiped Baal fell on their faces and said, “Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!” Then Elijah killed all the people who worshiped Baal.
Elijah saw a little cloud over the sea. Then God sent rain. The sky grew dark with clouds, and there was a great rain. Yahweh ended the drought and proved that He is the one true God.
Christ Connection: Elijah called on the power of God to prove to the worshipers of Baal that Yahweh is the one true God. By sending re from heaven, God displayed His great power. God would use His power years later to raise Jesus from the dead, showing that Jesus is the Son of God.