What comes to your mind when you think of fire? Warmth? Light? S'mores? Getting burned? How about the fact that our God is a consuming fire? (Exodus 4:24; Hebrews 12:29)
Recently, I was reading 1 Kings 18. It is a familiar story involving the prophet, Elijah. However, we should never let familiarity keep us from studying a passage again. Let's jump right into the middle of the account where Elijah issues a challenge to the prophets of Baal (vs.22-24):
"Then Elijah said to them, 'I am the only one of the Lord's prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire — he is God.'"
The prophets of Baal, miserably unsuccessful in the attempt to get their god to answer them, are about to experience the One True God. It's Elijah's turn to call on the name of the Lord, and he has set up the altar and directed the prophets of Baal to completely soak it in water. Let's look at verses 36-39:
"At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."
Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord he is God! The Lord — he is God!"
Are you facing odds that seem insurmountable? Look to the One who answers by fire.... He is God!
Note: I want to thank my friend, Lisa DeVinney, for the awesome fire pictures!