At Oasis (high school ministry on Tuesday nights), we?ve been looking at some Old Testament stories together. For some of our students, it?s the first time they?ve heard these stories. Others have heard them more times than they can count. Where ever they are at, our ministry team has challenged them to approach each story with a fresh set of eyes. Our hope is that they will interact with the story on a deeper level than they ever have before – that they would enter the story and allow themselves to be impacted by it. We?ve tried some different (dare I say creative) ways to accomplish this. We?ve looked at different translations, acted out the story, used video clips, and even got out the Children?s Bible and had “story time”. It?s been a blast! I?ve really enjoyed this series.
Tonight, we are entering into the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18). As I was preparing for this lesson, I realized that this is probably my favorite Old Testament story. Every time I read it I get excited! For me, it?s a beautiful story of God revealing himself to a stubborn people.
-I love that Elijah stands up to King Ahab knowing it could mean his life (v.18).
?-I love that Elijah, 1 man, takes on 450 prophets of Baal because he trusts God (v. 22)…talk about being outnumbered!
?-I love that Elijah challenges Baal to answer with fire (v.24)…Baal was the “god” of fire!
?-I love that Elijah taunts them (v.27)…not usually a nice thing to do, but I?d say it was deserved in this situation.
?-I love that Elijah calls the people to himself and then rebuilds the altar of the Lord (v.30)…symbolizing the work that needs to be done in the hearts of the people of Israel.
?-I love that Elijah has 4 large jars filled with water and then dumped on the offering not once, not twice, but three times! (v.33-35)…made it perfectly clear that this was not some kind of trick.
?-I love that Elijah prays that God would answer and make it known that he is the one true God (v.36)
But, the thing I love the most about this story is how the people respond in v.39. They fall to the ground and worship God! I wonder what it would have been like for them in that moment. They must have realized the foolishness of following Baal. Probably were a little scared, maybe even terrified. I wonder if they even remember where they got off track…where they took a wrong turn. Was it related to a specific event, or was it more of a gradual process?
How about you? What sticks out to you about this story? What?s your favorite OT story? What do you like about it? I?d love to hear from you.
?Chris “the Elijah wannabe”