Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.
And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering 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 said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there. I Kings 18:30-40 ESV
There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God. Psalm 86:8-10 ESV
Kapiolani was a chieftess in Hawaii in the early 1800s. She was related to the royal family and was a very important person. When Christian missionaries came to Hawaii she believed their message and became a Christian, and so did some of her people. Some of these new Christians were still afraid of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes. Kapiolani wanted to end the fears and superstitions of her people, so she challenged Pele and Pele’s priestesses by walking to the crater of Pele’s volcano while many people watched fearfully. Kapiolani went right into the crater of the volcano, and Pele didn’t harm her. The people were afraid that Pele would take revenge on them by destroying them with fire, but that didn’t happen either. Kapiolani challenged Pele in the name of the true God, and God was faithful and protected her.
Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal in the name of the Lord. The false prophets weren’t able to get their god to send fire down to burn their sacrifice. Elijah rebuilt the altar of Israel to remind the people of their past and of the God who had saved and helped them in the past. He was so sure that the Lord would hear and answer his prayer that he even made things more difficult. He made his entire sacrifice so wet that water was running down into a trench around the altar. He didn’t dance around or cut himself or yell and scream; he just quietly asked the Lord to show himself as the true God. But God heard his simple prayer, and fire came down and burned the whole thing, as wet as it was, even the stones!
When we need help, there’s no one like our God for us to turn to. God always hears our prayers and helps us in the way that is best. We know that he cares for us because he sent Jesus to be our Savior. No one else could save us from sin and death, but God could. He showed his love giving us Jesus to die on the cross and to rise again from the dead. Because of Jesus, we don’t have to be afraid of death or of anything else. We are safe in God’s hands forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for helping us and saving us and hearing our prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.