WHAT WAS ELIJAH DOING?
by Alan Smith
A couple of stories to illustrate how our children explain what happened in the Bible:
A Sunday school teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A young girl answered: “Because they couldn’t get a babysitter.”
Another Sunday school teacher was carefully explaining the story of Elijah the prophet and his contest with the false prophets of Baal. She explained how Elijah built the altar, put wood upon it, cut the bull in pieces and laid it upon the altar. Then Elijah commanded the people of God to fill four barrels of water and pour it over the altar. He had them do this three times. “Now,” said the teacher, “Can anyone in the class tell me why the Lord had Elijah pour water over the bull on the altar?” A little girl in the back of the room raised her hand with great enthusiasm. “To make the gravy.”
It was a good question. Why DID the Lord tell Elijah to pour the water over the altar? The answer is obvious (and it has nothing to do with gravy). The Lord wanted to exhibit His power in an absolutely incredible manner. When God was finished, no one was going to say, “Well, maybe Elijah used a flame he kept tucked away in his cloak.” No!
The fire from the Lord burnt up the wet sacrifice, the soaked wood, and even the rocks used to build the altar! If there is any lesson to be learned in this story, it is that our God is a powerful and awesome God!
Though we ourselves may not see displays of God’s power like what happened on Mount Carmel, it is comforting to know that the God who hears and answers our prayers is the God who has such power.
“Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power” (Psalm 21:13). Praise be to our all-powerful and truly awesome God!
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