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Contest at mount carmel

Picture descriptions:

Scene 1: Ahab coming to meet Elijah and calling him “Israel’s troublemaker” - Elijah pointing to mount Carmel and suggesting a contest between his God and Ahab’s false god - Baal.
Scene 2: Elijah addressing the people and asking them to finally decide which God to follow
Scene 3: Baal priests with their altar praying to the false god Baal
Scene 4: Elijah mocking the Baal priests who have now began self-harm in a futile attempt to summon Baal
Scene 5: Water being poured in a trench around Elijah’s altar. Elijah prays to summon his God
Scene 6: Fire from heaven instantly devouring the water and Elijah’s sacrifice
Scene 7: Baal priests turn to flee as Elijah orders their capture

Lesson points:

Despite 3 long years of judgment, Ahab still refused to turn to the true living God. His bitterness is clear when he finally comes face to face again with God’s prophet Elijah and blames him for the trouble in the land! Clearly the problem in the land was the people’s devotion to a false god Baal, (their nation had been warned 500 years earlier not to worship false gods) so it was time for the nation to witness a spectacular event to prove once and for all who was right in their beliefs. (Spiritual application: God is rightfully angry when people worship false gods and fail to see His hand in every area of life.) The contest was simple, each would prepare an offering on an altar then leave the rest to prayer! Elijah questioned the whole nation who turned up to watch about how long they would waver between two opinions - if God was God - then follow Him, if it was Baal - then follow him. (Spiritual application: Elijah had total confidence in God - although he was alone against 450 prophets of Baal, he knew they were no match for him when God was on his side). The contest began early in the morning with the 450 prophets attempt first. By noon after their frantic prayers and wild dancing there was still no answer. Elijah began to openly mock them “Shout louder, perhaps your god is asleep / busy / on a journey...” Their desperation grew until they began cutting themselves with knives and swords, but by early evening it was clear that their faith had been misplaced in a false god. (Spiritual application: It will become clear in the future to all those who reject God how foolish they were). Elijah stepped up! Water was a precious resource during a drought - but 3 times Elijah ordered his altar to be saturated using 4 jars. His altar built on 12 stones to represent the tribes would clearly be impossible to set alight now - but not for the TRUE God! Elijah prayed to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that people may know Him and understand that he was God’s servant. With instant fire from heaven, God scorched the offering and burned up the bull, wood, stones, dust and even the water in the ditch! Elijah ordered the capture of the evil false prophets that had blinded the people. The nation fell to their knees in worship of the living God. The contest was a ‘wake up call’ for the people who cried out “The Lord is God, the Lord is God!”










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