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A Miracle of Fire

Content Author: 
Reagan, David
Scripture Passage: 
1 Kings 18:25-46

The children of Israel accepted Elijah’s challenge of a contest as between gods (v.21-24).  The prophets of Baal went first in their attempt to call fire down from heaven (v.25-26).  After these false prophets failed to get any response at all (v.27-29), Elijah called on the people to observe him (v.30).

To begin, Elijah “repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down” (v.30).  This reminds us of king Josiah’s success in bringing revival to Judah when he commanded his officers “to repair the house of the LORD” (2Chronicles 34:8).  Elijah rebuilt the altar according to “the word of the LORD” (v.31) by using twelve stones to represent the twelve tribes of Israel.  He honored God by building it “in the name of the LORD” (v.32).  This shows us how to return to the Lord.  We must spend time in His “word” and exalt His “name” in prayer.  The altar must be repaired before the fire comes down from heaven.

After repairing the altar, Elijah assured the Israelites that work was of God and not an act of trickery.  He dug a trench around the altar and had four barrels of water poured on the altar (v.33).  He did the same thing two more times for a total of twelve barrels (v.34).  The altar, wood and sacrifice were soaked with water and the trench around the altar was full.  No one would be able to claim that Elijah did it with mirrors.  The burning of the sacrifice had to be of God.

God calls us to do a work for Him.  However, He often has to show us that we are insufficient in ourselves and that only He can perform the miracles of changing people’s lives and protecting us from harm or evil.  When Paul asked that the thorn in the flesh be removed, the Lord answered, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).  God often likes to show us that the power is in Him alone.

Elijah then finished his work by praying a simple prayer—one that put the entire burden on the Lord.  His prayer gave three reasons that the Lord should send down fire.  First, it would glorify God [“let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel”].  Second, it would fulfill God’s word [“I have done all these things at thy word”].  Third, it would reach others [“that this people may know”] (v.36-37).  God responded to Elijah’s prayer by immediately sending fire from heaven and consuming the sacrifice (v.38).  What a great God!

What is the condition of your personal altar?  Is it in good repair or do you need to work on it?  Do not expect blessing from God is you do not spend time in His word and in prayer.  Are you making sure God gets the glory in your life?  Are you trusting Him for all things?  He may not send fire from heaven, but God is ready to do great things in your life if you give yourself to Him.

David Reagan
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:23

The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.