A Test on Mount Carmel

A Test on Mount Carmel

The ten-tribe kingdom of Israel had many bad kings, but Ahab was one of the worst. He married an evil woman who worshipped Baal. Her name was Jezebel. Ahab and Jezebel filled the land with Baal worship and murdered Jehovah’s prophets. What did Jehovah do? He sent the prophet Elijah to give Ahab a message.

Elijah told King Ahab that because of his badness, there would be no rain in Israel. For more than three years, crops did not grow and the people went hungry. Jehovah later sent Elijah back to Ahab. The king said: ‘You are a troublemaker! This is all your fault.’ Elijah answered: ‘I didn’t cause this drought. You did by worshipping Baal. We will make a test. Gather the nation and the Baal prophets on the top of Mount Carmel.’

The people gathered on the mountain. Elijah said: ‘Make up your minds. If Jehovah is the true God, follow him. If Baal is, then follow him. I make this challenge. The 450 Baal prophets should prepare an offering and call to their god, and I will prepare an offering and call to Jehovah. The one who answers with fire is the true God.’ The people agreed.

The prophets of Baal prepared an offering. All day long they called to their god: ‘O Baal, answer us!’ When Baal didn’t answer, Elijah made fun of him. He said: ‘Call as loud as you can. Maybe he has fallen asleep, and someone needs to wake him up.’ Evening came, and the prophets of Baal kept calling. But there was still no answer.

Elijah put his offering on an altar and poured water all over it. Then he prayed: ‘O Jehovah, please let the people know that you are the true God.’ Immediately, Jehovah sent fire from heaven to burn up the offering. The people cried out: ‘Jehovah is the true God!’ Elijah said: ‘Do not let the prophets of Baal escape!’ That day, the 450 prophets of Baal were killed.

When a small cloud appeared over the sea, Elijah told Ahab: ‘A storm is coming. Hitch up your chariot, and go home.’ The sky became dark with clouds, the wind blew, and a heavy rain began to fall. Finally, the drought had ended. Ahab drove his chariot as fast as he could. With Jehovah’s help, Elijah actually ran faster than the chariot! But were all of Elijah’s problems over? Let’s see.

“May people know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”​—Psalm 83:18