Generations had passed since Israel arrived at Canaan with the purpose to conquer and destroy the evil in that land. God’s specific warning to Israel was, When you come into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of these nations… You shall be blameless to the Lord your God (Deut. 18: 9,12). Canaan, called also the Promised Land, is called the Lord’s land. Moses, before he died, describes it: … the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year (Deut. 11:12b). The Land situated in the center of the earth, where all begun, where Adam and Even had their home in the Garden of Eden before they were kicked out, became tainted by sin and idolatrous practices. God chose the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son, to form a nation unto Him of royal priesthood; a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. But Israel broke the covenant with their God, and embraced the false gods of the nations around them. Years of unfaithfulness to their God, Israel turned against the very essence of their existence. The reality of it is shown in the number of their false prophets. Eight hundred fifty prophets in all to one true prophet, Elijah. These prophets were supported by Queen Jezebel who was originally from Sidon and became the wife of Ahab, King of Samaria, in defiance to God’s command. This is an example of total abandonment of God’s warnings and laws given to Israel before they entered the Promised Land.
Those were dark days in the history of Israel. They reflected the coming Christian dark ages, when they would forsake the teachings of the early church to follow the pagan teachings of Constantine, who made official the erroneous date of our Savior’s birth to mingle with his pagan god’s birth, among many other practices. Ignorance, the mother of stupidity and the way to hell, has led many astray. Many heroes and heroines of the faith who fought for truth, lost their lives through burning of their bodies at the stakes. Those were the days when only the faithful ones had no choice beyond that of denying their faith in God and His Truth, or die for their Lord and Savior in defense of His teachings. In the case of Elijah, however, he had come to Mount Carmel to rid of the false prophets. His zeal for the living God, whom he represented, compelled him to act with a determined purpose. He called Israel to meet him at Mount Carmel, together with the 850 prophets of [the goddess] Asherah, who ate at [Queen] Jezebel’s table (I Kings 28:19). The meeting, in which resulted in the killings of all of them, for failing the test Elijah brought before them: Let two bulls be given us; let them choose one bull and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood but put no fire to it. I will dress the other bull, lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the One Who answers by fire, let Him be God. And all the people answered, It is well spoken…midday passed, and they played the part of prophets until the time for offering the evening sacrifice, but there was no voice, no answer, no one who paid attention (I Kings 18:23-24;29). Known to Elijah, their god was dead. He wanted to confirm it by challenging them. Elijah then, built an altar in the name of the Lord. He made a trench about the altar as great as would contain two measures of seed. Jars were filled with water and poured on the burnt offering and the wood three times; Elijah came near and said, O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and that I have done all these things at Your word; hear me, O lord, hear me, that this people may know that You the Lord, are God, and have turned their hearts back [to You]. Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood and the and the stones and the dust, and also licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people say it, they fell on their faces and they said, The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God! (I Kings 18:32-36).
Oh, that the today’s world would experience such confirmation of the veracity of our Lord! That it would be so powerful, that no doubt would arise in their minds; that their hearts would turn completely to God our Lord and Savior; that His love would be reality by the transformation of their lives! That the reality of Calvary would bring them to the cross where YAHSHUA died, paying the price for their redemption with His own life! A sacrifice that caused the heavens and earth to tremble and shout: The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!