Elijah | 1 Kings 18:16-46

In an essay published posthumously in 1970, C.S. Lewis used a visual analogy of “God in the dock” to describe the spiritual and intellectual climate of his era. The dock, where a defendant sat in a British courtroom, had become consigned to God in his metaphor, while man sat on the bench, putting him on trial.

As an academic with a penchant for debate, Lewis likely felt himself going between the dock and the bench in his dialogues with non-believers and this musing might have teetered on the edge of tangible reality at moments of his life. The notion of God on trial still captivates us, as it has since presented itself in movies and plays. It is the most simple illustration of modern apologetics, but the trial of God goes way further back than Lewis.

Elijah and the Prophets of Baal

I’ve seen some pastors insert the word “versus” when teaching on this passage (as if to present it as some blockbuster summer flick), but it needs very little embellishment to evoke its epic nature. Israel, though still claiming loyalty to God, had begun worshipping the pagan god Baal, who presided over fertility and rain. Elijah had the distinction of being the minority in the crowd who stood for truth. “How long will you hesitate between two opinions,” Elijah challenged them, “If the Lord is God follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (I Kings 18:21).

This confrontation ultimately culminated with Elijah challenging the prophets of Baal, who numbered 450 according to the text, to a contest of supernatural power. Each was given an oxen to present to their respective deities as a burnt offering, neither would actually light the fire themselves. The challenge was simple: the one true God would provide the flames for the offering. You probably know the ending; Baal is a no-show, God incinerates Elijah’s ox and Elijah proceeds to go on a rampage of actual Biblical proportions.

There are lots of details to Elijah’s offering, though, that are intriguing. He sets his ox upon twelve stones, on for each tribe of Israel. In his prayer, Elijah calls upon God and addresses him as the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and asks Him to turn the hearts of His people back to Him. The lures of Baal were all vain and materialistic; rain, abundance, prosperity. The prophets of Baal boasted their god upon what the Israelites could obtain from him but Elijah stood for his God purely on the basis of the truth in who He was and that He desired His people.

Most of us are never going to enter a public debate or write a book to defend the existence and power of God but we will inevitably find ourselves with Him in the defendant’s chair if we’re serious about worshipping Him. We should always seek to love and serve our neighbor, that is what Jesus asked of us and it is out of love for His people that God showed his might to Elijah. But we should always remember the power of God, and the truth of who He is never changes.
Author | Justin Patton





no categories


1 Corinthians 1 Kings 1 Peter 2 Corinthians 2 Peter Aaron Vickroy Abba Abiding Abigail Bradley Abundance Accountability Actions Adam Salway Addiction Adoration Adventure Alafia Adeleke Alex Hinton Alignment Andrew Elder Andrew Smith Anger Anna DiCosty Anna Goellner Anointing Ansley Davenport Anxiety Armor of God Ashlyn Williams Ashton Brantley Asian American and Pacific Islander Month Aubrey Gold Authority Autumn Pressley Awakening Bailey Meyne Balance Beauty Becca Johnstone Becca Morgan Being Uncomfortable Being mortal Beloved Benji Johnston Bentley Clark Bethel Black History Month Blessing Body Image Body of Christ Boldness Boundaries Brad Schiebel Bravery Breakthrough Brittany Futch Brokenness Brooke DeLoach Brooklyn Holloway COVID-19 Caitlin Cooper Calling Calvary Cam Pace Caroline Barnes Caroline Beasley Caroline Newton Carolyn McLain Celebration Change Charlie Knox Child-like Chloe Glass Chosen Christina Hensley Christlikeness Christmas Survival Guide Christmas Claire Jordan Clarity Colorado Comfort Commitment Communion Community Comparison Compassion Complacency Confidence Connection Consistency Contentment Control Conviction Correction Counseling Courage Covenants Creativity Cristina Rosiles Dating Decisions Dependency Depth Desperation Devon Radford Disappointment Discernment Discipleship Leadership Blog Discipleship Discipline Distraction Diversity Division Doubt Dreams Dutch Williams Easter Eat the Book El Roi El Shaddai Elders Elijah Elizabeth Sprinkle Ellie Knight Ellyzsa Valencia Emily Baker Emily Goldin Emily Helton Emily Summers Emma Kate Shelton Emma Whitmer Emmanuel Fortuchang Emotions Empathy Emptiness Encountering God Encounter Encouragement Rooms Endurance Enough Environment Envy Erin Gilleland Eternity Evan Correa Evangelism Exodus Expectation Faithfulness Faith Family Fear of the Lord Fear Feeling Lost Feeling Safe Fernanda Lima Forgiveness Fredom Freedom Freely Given Freshley Friendship Fruits of the Spirit Fun Future Garner Gay Generosity Genesis Gentleness Gift Giving Giving Glory of God God as a Father God is Smart God is with us God's Character God's Heart God's Names God's Plans God's Plan God's Power God's Presence God's Promises God's Timing God's Voice God's Will God\'s Character God\'s Heart God\'s Names God\'s Plans God\'s Plan God\'s Power God\'s Presence God\'s Promises God\'s Timing God\'s Voice God\'s Will God\\\'s Character God\\\'s Heart God\\\'s Names God\\\'s Plans God\\\'s Plan God\\\'s Power God\\\'s Presence God\\\'s Promises God\\\'s Voice God\\\'s Will God\\\\\\\'s Character God\\\\\\\'s Presence God\\\\\\\'s Voice Government Grace Gratitude Guatemala Guidance Haley Blanchard Haley Hall Hallie Turner Hannah Cole Healing Heart Posture Heaven Hinds Feet on High Places Hispanic Heritage Month History of Prayer History of Revival History of Wesley Holidays Holiness Holly Avera Holy Spirit Holy Week Home Honor Hope Hospitality Humility Hunger Hunter MacInnis I Am Ian Burkes Identity Idols Image of God Imagination Influence Inheritance Intention Intercession Interning Intimacy Isolation Jake Stephens Jamaica Jamie Cherf Jealousy Jennifer Daniel Jessie Thomas Jesus John Wesley John Joseph Josh DeRamus Journaling Joy Judgment Julia Baughn Justice Justin Patton Kalli Drake Karla Sanchez Tavera Katherine Burnette Katie Courson Katie Pilson Katie Pitner Katy Smith Kelley Losinger Kelly Losinger Kelsey Parham Kennedy Browning Kimberly Klaer Kindness Kingdom Knowing God Knowledge Known Kourtney Axelberg Kristen Fikse Kyle Pickett Language Latinx Heritage Month Lauren Forbes Leadership Legacy Lia Herrera Life Light Lindsey Conway Listening Living Water Living with God Logic Loneliness Longing Los Angeles Loss Love Languages Love Luvlan Lee Mackenzie Wells Maddie Marsh Madeline Current Madelyn Livingston Madison Davis Makinizi Hoover Mariah Foote Mariah Taylor Marlena Sculac Marriage Martin Luther King Jr. Matthew Maturity Melissa Merrick Mental Health Mercy Meredith Ashburn Messiah Michael Weidner Miracles Missions Morgan Attebery Mourning Names Narnia Nashville Natalie Mata Nathan DeYoung New Covenant New Year Obedience Old Covenant Olivia Beals Olivia Ellis Openness Outreach Pain Partnership Passover Past Paul Peace Perfection Perseverance Perspective Peter Pharisees Philippians Power Praise Prayer Guide Prayer Meetings Prayer Pride Processing Prophecy Protection Provision Psalm 23 Psalms Purity Purpose Rachel Dow Rachel Erin Taylor Rachel Henderson Rachel Jones Racial Healing Racial Reconciliation Rebecca Mejia Recipes Reconciliation Red Rising Redemption Refinement Reflection Reform Refreshing Relationship Remedy Repentance Resolutions Resources Responsibility Restoration Rest Resurrection Reverence Revival Rhythm Righteousness Riley Orr Risk Romance Romans 8 Romans Rosalie Vendrell Ruth Sabbath Sacrifice Salvation Sam Adams Sam Carroll Sam Darby Samantha Forbes Samantha Richey Sanctification Sarah Savoie Savannah Shaw Savannah Ugan Scripture Seasons Secrets of the Secret Place Seeking God Selah Self-love Sermon on the Mount Serving Shaking Shame Sidney Counsell Singleness Sin Slowing Solitude Sorrow Sovereignty Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Health Spiritual Themes Spiritual Warfare Status Steadfastness Stephanie Seda Stephanie Stewart Strength Stress Struggles Suffering Summer Survival Guide Summer of Psalms Summer Surrender Temple Temptation Tenderness Tension Testimony Thankfulness The Beatitudes The Church The Cross The Gospel The Law The Lord's Prayer The Lord\'s Prayer The Lord\\\'s Prayer The Prodigal Son The Road to Life The Secret Place The Shack The Ten Commandments The Trinity The Word of God Therapy Tori Kramer Transformation Transition Trust Truth Uncertainty Unity Urgency Values Victory Vision Vulnerability Wandering Wednesday Night Recap Who Am I Wilderness Wisdom Wonder Word for the Year Words Worship Worth