For three years, Lord, You withheld rain and dew from the land. The people had to deal with severe drought. Not only did no rain mean the crops were scanty, and eventually dried up altogether; but the streams and brooks began to dry up too. Grain was harder and harder to find to make bread. Olive groves were not producing fruit so oil was hard to get too.
The drought had caused a famine so severe that not only crops, but grass for the livestock had vanished as well: to the point that King Ahab was going to have to kill livestock for lack of food.
All this happened because the people had turned away from You. They had abandoned what they knew to be right and true. They had not kept Your commands, but had followed and worshipped other gods.
Even in my times Father, You are not honored, not obeyed. Like then, people have been led away from You to worship many things: self, fame, money, possessions, status, environment, political ideologies, man’s philosophies. The values people live their lives by are not godly ones. And there is a drought. The life-giving water of Your Word has not been acknowledged in a long time.
But rain is coming! The stage is set, and Elijah is sent to call the people back.
I Kings 18 tells of the showdown Elijah set up to prove Your supremacy. Since Baal was worshipped as a god of many things – rain, thunder, fertility of the land, agriculture; he should have been able to provide for the crops during those 3 years. He did not. He was also supposed to be the god of fire, so it should have been an easy thing for his power to burn up the offering his priests set up for him. But although the priests called and danced and cut themselves, Baal did not answer.
At the end of the day, Elijah called the people and said, “Come to me”. They did. He soaked the wood and offering three times to make it even harder for a natural fire to be lit.
Then Elijah prayed. He prayed that the You would make Yourself seen and known to the people who were watching. That they would recognize and remember that You, the Lord, are God, and there is no other.
And that with this sign, this miracle, You would turn the people’s hearts back to You. You showed up! The “fire of the Lord” fell and burned it all up! And the people fell on their faces and cried “The Lord – He is God! The Lord – He is God!”
Father, would You send an Elijah to call the people back to You now. Open the peoples’ ears to hear the call. Let them see Your miracle when it happens.
Give them understanding to acknowledge Your hand in it. And let their faith be rekindled, renewed, as You turn people’s hearts back to You. So that from here on, people will trust that You, the Lord, are God; and there is no other.
The stage is set. The time for so many people is now.
Father, send Your fire! Amen