There was a big competition on Mount Carmel one day, and the prophet Elijah proved to everyone that there is only one real God.
Elijah was a prophet from long ago, before they had cell phones or cars or even Twinkies, Mmmmm…
Now to understand the story of Elijah, we have to learn about what a prophet is.
Elijah was a prophet, which is another word for messenger. A prophet is a special messenger for God. Elijah was a prophet for the God of the Bible. He was a messenger for God. You know, the God we talk about every week, and sing about, and pray to. That God.
God has existed forever. He’s not new around here, you know? God’s been around a long, long time. Before you were born. Before you parents were born. Even before the births of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and earth. And that’s the message God wanted Elijah to bring to the people. God wanted Elijah to tell everyone that he has been around forever, even before the earth was created.
God is the real God. Sometimes people forget that. See, the people started making false gods. They made statues out of wood and stone and then they said, “Hey – let’s worship this thing. Let’s pretend that they’re gods!” Can you believe it? That would be like singing to a Twinkie:
“Oh Twinkie, how I love you!”
That’s silly. Twinkies can’t hear. They can’t do anything. They’re just Twinkies.
So anyway, in the story, Elijah told all of the people that their false gods aren’t really gods at all. But they didn’t believe him, so he set up a contest to prove it. Elijah told them to build an altar to their god, and he would build an altar to his God. They put wood on each of their altars, but they weren’t supposed to set it on fire yet. Instead, Elijah said this:
1 Kings 18:24 “Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.
Wanna guess what happened? The other prophets danced around and prayed and begged for their god to answer. But nothing happened. Because their god was as strong as a Twinkie. So when it was Elijah’s turn, he did something crazy. Before he prayed to his God, he dumped a bunch of water on his wood until it was soaking wet. And then he prayed:
1 Kings 18:37 O lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”
And right when he prayed that, God sent fire from heaven and it burned everything up – even the water! God won the contest!
1 Kings 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The lord—he is God! Yes, the lord is God!”
That’s a pretty cool story, huh? It’s a story about worshiping the one true God. But, “how can we worship the one true God?”
Now, there are probably a lot of answers to this question. But we’re just kids, so let’s boil it down to two main things.
We worship the One True God by singing and by obeying.
Singing: that’s what we do when we sing songs to God. It’s one of the ways we can worship God as a kid. We should sing songs that say thanks to God for all He has done for us and to let Him know how much we love Him.
Obeying: worship isn’t just about how we sing. It’s also about how we live. When kids obey God or their parents, they are showing with their actions that they love God.
We have a great God who loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. Let’s show Him how much we love Him through our words and actions.