“Then the fire of the Lord 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 the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The Lord, He is the God! The Lord, He is the God’!”
I Kings 18:38-39
When God shows up in power, it’ll be unmistakable and undeniable.
“Then the fire of the Lord fell.”
This must have been a sight to behold that day atop Mt. Carmel after the false prophets of Baal and the groves failed in their attempts to get their gods to respond. Even though they did everything they knew to do—including “leaping up on the altar” (v.26) and “crying aloud and cutting themselves with knives and lancets ‘till the blood gushed out upon them” (v.28)—nothing happened.
But, when Elijah prayed, things began to happen.
He first “repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down” (v.30); evidently someone had previously already built one there on this spot in this mountain range that stretches 17 miles from the Mediterranean Sea to the Plain of Dothan. The range averages 1,000’ in elevation, with the summit rising to a height of 1,742’ and was a favorite spot for worshipping the gods of the weather by the pagan Canaanites.
Yet, Elijah knew that broken down, unused altars are no good and grievous to a present-tense, living God.
So, he repaired it. And, then he took 12 stones—one for each tribe of Israel—and dedicated this new altar “to the Name of the Lord” (vv.31-32a) and even had his servants dig a trench around it and pour 12 barrels of water on the bullock which had been cut into pieces (vv.32b-35).
He wanted the pagan prophets to know that our God is “the God of the Impossible” (cf. Gen. 18:14; Lk. 1:37)! Then he prayed aloud to the God of Abraham and asked Him to let them know that HE was/is the true God, not some contrived god that arises from the evil desires of a man’s heart.
And, show up He did!
Even now we can see that Shekinah Glory fire falling out of the sky. . .engulfing the sacrifice and the altar. . .and even “consuming the water that was in the trench.” No wonder the people cried, “The Lord—the Covenant God of Israel—He is God! The LORD—He is God!”
Such had happened many years before after Solomon prayed at the end of the new Temple dedication (II Chron. 7:1). And, that day “God’s Glory also filled the place to the point where no one could stand” (v.2), causing the people to “bow down with their faces to the pavement as they worshipped and praised the Lord by crying, ‘For He is good—for His Mercy endures forever’!” (v.3). Hallelujah!!
Dear Pilgrim, does your heart yearn for “the Fire to fall” one more time? Do you long to see His Glory fill your heart, your home, your church, your land, etc., so others will once again cry “The Lord—He is God! The Lord—He is God!”? If so, follow the Prescription (II Chron. 7:14) and ask others to join you. The Hour may be late; but, it’s not too late.
June 7, 2011