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The figure of Elijah virtually dominates the whole of the First Book of Kings. Such is his abiding influence that in the thirteenth century the Carmelites built a monastery on Mount Carmel and erected a statue to him in the crypt of the monastery. According to tradition, the crypt was the original cave where Elijah had supposedly lived for part of his lifetime. One thing we do know for certain, however, is that Mount Carmel was the scene of Elijah’s great victory over the prophets of Baal and Asherah as narrated in 1 Kings Chapter 18 verses 17-40. Israel looked on at this spectacle in silence, and Elijah challenged them to make their minds up once the contest had ended. Would they still waver between two opinions, effectively would they still ‘sit on the fence’, or would they choose the God who answered by fire, 1 Kgs 18.21? Despite the serried ranks of the opposition, Elijah meets them head on and calls upon the name of his God (Yahweh). He then unequivocally demonstrates to all those present that his God is indeed the one and only true God by the revelation of fire from heaven. Whilst men today continue to crave after forms of syncretistic religious experience, the God of Elijah is still the God, who answers all the wavering doubts of humanity through the revelation of the person and work of His incarnate Son, John 3.16.


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