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Then the Fire of the Lord Fell

Daily Reading: 1 Kings 18


Scripture Focus: 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. (1 Kings 18.37-38)


Devotional Thought: "Pick on somebody your own size." Sometimes, this is said to shame a bully - to prevent them from harassing someone smaller. It can also be a warning - to make sure that a friend doesn't take on a foe who is bigger than them.


Elijah didn't care. He picked on somebody way bigger than him. On Mount Carmel, he confronted King Ahab and his retinue of "the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table" (1 Kings 18.19). The odds were not in his favor. After he proposed a contest - the God who answers by fire, he is God - Elijah further handicapped himself by drenching his sacrifice with water.


I've always marveled at Elijah's simple prayer in contrast to the prayer of the false prophets, who went on all morning and much of the afternoon crying out and cutting themselves, trying to get Baal's attention. But, today I noticed something for the first time. The initial part of Elijah's prayer was focused on Elijah's vindication - "that I am your servant and that I have done all these things in your name." I don't have a quarrel with the prophet; I simply point out that nothing happened until after Elijah shifted the focus - "that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back." After Elijah prayed for the glory of God and the salvation of people, "Then the fire of the Lord fell."


Do you want the fire of God to fall on you? Do you want the power of God on your testimony and prayers? Perhaps, it is time to change the focus of your prayers.


Prayer: "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." Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 124.1-5

1 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side—

let Israel now say—

2 if it had not been the Lord who was on our side

when people rose up against us,

3 then they would have swallowed us up alive,

when their anger was kindled against us;

4 then the flood would have swept us away,

the torrent would have gone over us;

5 then over us would have gone

the raging waters.

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