Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the Prophet) was a man who stared down the face of death and a man, who was king of his domain, being controlled by his wife who loved her make up and loved to look enticing to others. This woman begged and pleaded for someone – anyone – who could rid her of this man of YaHuWaH who kept coming back and telling her and her loyal subjects just how wrong they were and warned of the wrath of YaHuWaH for all of those who followed her pernicious ways.
Of course you know that I am referring to Jezebel and Ahab, and you also know that Jezebel was a staunch follower of the false elohim Ba’al. But this past Shabbat, we were studying, and came to the passage on the events on Har Carmel (Mount Carmel), of which I wanted to repeat this study here for you today. Jezebel, who when her husband would pout because he could not have something, was known to kill someone so her husband could take what he wanted, loved to be the center of attention.
Now the particular story we went over is found in Malachim Aleph (First Kings) chapter 18. To set the stage, Ahab and Eliyahu meet, and Eliyahu is introduced to Ovadyahu (Obadiah), who is the writer of the book of Ovadyahu. And in this meeting, Eliyahu challenges Ahab to a spiritual duel, between the prophets of Ba’al and the prophet of YaHuWaH. Ahab asked Eliyahu, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” (18:17), whereas Eliyahu responded, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of YaHuWaH, and thou hast followed Baalim.” (18:18) So the challenge was made, and all sides – excluding Jezebel of course because, well, she was just too chicken to meet the challenge and besides, she had a kingdom to run anyway, and further, Eliyahu was just not worth her time – met upon Har Carmel. The 450 prophets of Ba’al, and then the one prophet of YaHuWaH, Eliyahu, who I can just picture carrying a captain’s chair in its sleeve on his shoulder and with the other arm, carrying a container with drink, a cup, and an umbrella to go in the cup, as well as a wide brimmed hat.
Now for everyone that is familiar with this story, I am going to go through it here, and I shall keep the half English half Hebrew mix in here. YaHuWaH shall still be spoken of in Hebrew, and so as to keep the mixture correct, for I do not wish anyone to say that I favor the Hebrew more than the English for to them, that would be saying that the English speakers are less in YaHuWaH, I shall use the English word for the Hebrew word Ba’al – the Lord.
“And EliYahu came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? If YaHuWaH be Elohim, follow Him: but if the Lord, then follow him.’ And the people answered him not a word.” (18:21) How long are you going to be stuck on the fence, Eliyahu asked the people which had accompanied the prophets of the Lord. Just as Yahushua (Joshua) had done, Eliyahu was challenging the people to choose which elohim they were going to serve. But no one said a word. They wanted to make no one else there mad at them, even possibly bringing down the wrath of Jezebel on them, so they said nothing.
“Then said EliYahu unto the people, ‘I, even I only, remain a prophet of YaHuWaH; but the Lord’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and call ye on the name of your elohim, and I will call on the name of YaHuWaH: and the Elohim that answereth by fire, let him be Elohim.’ And all the people answered and said, ‘It is well spoken.’” (18:22-24)
Eliyahu has said that he – 1 person – is outnumbered by 449 by the prophets of the Lord. So, the people there that are witnessing this event, Eliyahu tells them to pick out to bulls, and then to let the prophets of the Lord choose which one they want and Eliyahu would take the left over one. Both sides would kill and dress the offering, putting wood on the alter and then the offering on top of that, but adding no fire. Then we see how the parties shall call upon the Name of their elohim, and which ever one sends fire down from above, then this shall be the true Elohim. Now picture this early in the morning, so there should be plenty of time to do all of this before evening, and the people all agree. Eliyahu sets up his chair beside the broken down alter when had been torn down, and waited for the bulls to arrive.
When the bulls finally arrived, “EliYahu said unto the prophets of the Lord, ‘Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your elohim, but put no fire under.’ And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of the Lord from morning even until noon, saying, ‘O Lord, hear us.’” (18:25-26a) Just picture Eliyahu is sitting there in his captains chair, feet propped up, with the wide brimmed hat on his head for shade, and a tall glass of something to drink with an little umbrella in it while watching these prophets of the Lord slaughtering, chopping, and placing the bull they chose on the alter, and then crying out to the Lord for him to send down fire. They did this from morning until noon time, begging and pleading for the Lord to send down fire.
“But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that EliYahu mocked them, and said, ‘Cry aloud: for he is an elohim; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.’ And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.” (18:26b-28) They got so excited while calling on the name of the Lord that they began jumping around, up on things, and making weird awkward movements. Picture a church service here where the singers and band are playing one of those songs of praise that calls on the name of the Lord, and they begin jumping up and down and dancing.
Then comes my favorite part of this story. Eliyahu, remember picturing him in that chair with his hat and the drink, after taking a sip from that drink, he then begins to mock them and say, “Hey, is he asleep up there, or talking to another elohim, or maybe he is on vacation somewhere. Call out to him even louder so he can hear you.” These people was watching and listening to this prophet of YaHuWaH mock the Lord. “Shout aloud!” Eliyahu said, and shout even louder they did, even cutting and piercing themselves, until the blood gushed from them.
“And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.” (18:29) It was now getting towards evening, and these prophets of the Lord were still prophesying, even though there was no answer of fire raining down from above to their cries. Eliyahu, which had waited patiently all day, now rose up from where he had been reclining, enjoying himself, and mocking the priests of the Lord.
“And EliYahu said unto all the people, ‘Come near unto me.’ And all the people came near unto him.” (18:30a) All the people who had been sitting on this mountain all day watching the prophets of the Lord cry out calling upon him to send down fire, now were called over to Eliyahu, to see what he was going to do.
“And he repaired the altar of YaHuWaH that was broken down. And EliYahu took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Ya’akov (Jacob), unto whom the word of YaHuWaH came, saying, ‘Isra’el shall be thy name’: and with the stones he built an altar in the name of YaHuWaH: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, ‘Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.’” (18:30b-33) Eliyahu had put down his drink, rose up, rebuilt this alter which had been torn down, using twelve stones to represent the twelve tribes, and placed the name of YaHuWaH (yes there is the name thing again) on the alter, dug a trench all around the alter, and placed the wood and the cut up pieces of the bull on it. Then he turns to the onlookers and says for them to fill four barrels full of water and pour over the alter. Everyone knows how well wet wood burns. It does not burn well at all. But, while Eliyahu sat back down again, the onlookers filled the barrels and poured the water onto the alter like he directed them to.
Looking at the drenched alter, while probably still sitting in the chair, Eliyahu said to them, “‘Do it the second time.’ And they did it the second time. And he said, ‘Do it the third time.’ And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.” (18:34-35) So much water was poured on the alter that it filled up the trench or moat that encircled the alter. Three times Eliyahu had them put four barrels of water on the alter. The wood and the bull are now thoroughly soaked.
“And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that EliYahu the prophet came near, and said, ‘YaHuWaH, Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art Elohim in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O YaHuWaH, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art YaHuWaH Elohim, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again.” (18:36-37) When Eliyahu called out to YaHuWaH, he called on His name. He did not say Ba’al, or any of the other names of the dieties that the people may have known, but Eliyahu specifically called upon the name of YaHuWaH.
“Then the fire of YaHuWaH fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, ‘YaHuWaH, He is the Elohim; YaHuWaH, He is the Elohim.’” (18:38-39) When Eliyahu called out to YaHuWaH by name, YaHuWaH answered by sending down fire from above. This fire was so powerful that it completely consumed the burnt offering, the wood, even the stones and the water. The onlookers then fell on their faces and acknowledged that YaHuWaH is the Elohim, and thus that the Lord was not.
All of the prophets of the Lord were then put to death, Eliyahu then prayed and it had rained, something that had not happened in years there. Eliyahu then even ran faster that Ahab’s chariot, all the way to Jezreel. “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Eliyahu had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Eliyahu, saying, ‘So let the elohim do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.” (19:1-2) The woman was foaming at the mouth. Again, Eliyahu had stood up to her and to the false prophets of her false elohim, and dispatched each and everyone of them. She was willing to physically threaten Eliyahu for proving again that she was not of YaHuWaH and that her elohim, the Lord, was nothing compared to YaHuWaH.
There are many Jezebels today, and they too are constantly battling against the servants of YaHuWaH. Do not be afraid to battle with them, for although they shall get angry, foam at the mouth, demand vengeance, and send others to constantly hunt you down and try to destroy you, in the end, they too shall end up like the original Jezebel, for the victory is already YaHuWaH’s, and the gates of the kingdom of HaSatan shall never prevail against Him.