King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were the most wicked rulers Israel had ever seen. They worshipped the false god Baal, and Jezebel killed some of the Lord’s prophets. God was very angry, and sent a drought. For almost three years, it did not rain.

Then God told Elijah, His prophet, to offer Ahab a challenge. Elijah and the prophets of Baal would go up to Mount Carmel. There they would place a bull on top of some wood, and each side would pray for fire.

The followers of Baal went first. They called on their god, and they ran around making a lot of noise and cutting themselves. But nothing happened. This should have been no trouble for Baal, because he was supposed to be the god of storms. If this god were so good and powerful, why had he not sent rain to break the drought? Why could he not send lightning to set the wood on fire? The answer, of course, was easy: Baal did not exist; he was not real.

Then Elijah took his turn. He drenched the wood and bull with water, and called upon the Lord—just once. Immediately, God sent a fire that burned everything on and around the altar, including the water!

But still, there was no rain. Elijah stayed on Mount Carmel. Seven times Elijah sent his servant to look out over the sea. Finally, the servant saw a tiny cloud. In a little while, a storm came, and rain fell on the parched earth of Israel. What a glorious day! Elijah had shown the people of Israel that there was only one true God.


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