In the third year of the drought, when no rain fell on the land and so crops could not grow, God spoke to Elijah. He told Elijah to go and see King Ahab. When King Ahab saw Elijah he said, “Is that you, you troublemaker?” Elijah answered, “It is not I that am the troublemaker, you are. You have abandoned God’s ways and followed Baal, a false god. Now meet me on Mount Carmel with Baal’s prophets.”
And that is what happened. 450 of Baal’s prophets met with Elijah, the prophet of God on Mount Carmel. Elijah said, “If God is the real God, follow him; if it’s Baal, then follow him, but make up your minds!”
The prophets of Baal built a pile of wood, killed a bull, cut it up and put it on the wood. Then they cried out to their god Baal to bring fire down onto it and burn it up. They prayed all morning but nothing happened. Elijah started to tease them, “Shout louder, maybe he is asleep, or busy, or on holiday!” They prayed louder and louder and got more and more frustrated and exhausted.
Eventually Elijah cried out, “Enough! Now it’s my turn!” And Elijah built an altar from stones to honour God, dug a trench around the altar, finally laying wood on top. He killed and cut up a bull, placed that on the wood and then drenched the whole thing with lots of water.
And then he prayed, “Oh God, you are the one true God. Please show this to the people.” Immediately fire fell and burned up the offering - all of it - the bull, the wood, the stones and even the water in the trench!
All the people fell to their faces, shocked and in awe and worshipped God. All the prophets of Baal were killed.
And then it rained,