In the Mood for a Challenge
Elijah wanted to make God’s glory known. He wanted to show king and the nation who the One True God was, for them to reject the false Canaanite Gods they were worshipping. This mood led him to challenge the prophets of Baal and Asherah on Mount Carmel. It was to be Elijah’s greatest public miracle.
Elijah challenged these prophets to a demonstration to show whose god was the true power in Israel. The contest involved 450 prophets of Baal, 400 prophets of Asherah, and only Elijah as the sole prophet of God. Animal sacrifices would be offered to the gods, who would be called upon by their respective prophets. If the god consumed the sacrifice, it would prove their existence and power.
Throughout the day, the false prophets called on their gods to send down fire to consume the sacrifice. However, their prayers were to no avail. Finally, it was Elijah’s turn. He called on God to consume the animal sacrifice. God responded, and fires from the heaven swallowed up the animal carcass. Even the stones where the carcass lay were burned.
In the Bible passage, it is evident that Elijah wanted to prove a point by putting to the test those who claimed that their gods were the true gods of Israel. Elijah’s mood to challenge religious officials put him in a situation wherein he would also have to prove his God was real. However, this did not bother him because he knew that his side –God’s side, would prevail.
Like Elijah, we too should not be afraid to face a challenge. In fact, it is even better if we initiate challenges ourselves. When we are in a mood for a challenge, we give ourselves the potential to stretch our capabilities. We expand our skills and gain experience as well.