1 Kings 18.25-26
“Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made.”
The prophets of Baal prepared their bull, put it on the altar, and called upon their god to bring fire. Nothing happened. No lightning from the storm god. No fire. Nothing. The silence must have been deafening.
In desperation, the prophets of Baal began leaping around the altar. They were jumping up and down and crying out in a futile attempt to get Baal’s attention. Check out what scripture says next:
“And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.” (1 Kings 18.27-29)
It must have been quite a scene. Elijah standing by casually observing, maybe leaning against a tree with his arms crossed, watching the prophets of Baal jump around like a bunch of fools. After observing hours of this nonsense, Elijah mocks them and says: Hey you guys! Maybe you aren’t calling loud enough. He is a god, after all, and maybe he’s busy. Shout louder. And then again, maybe he’s ignoring you because he’s busy using the toilet!
From morning till evening the prophets of Baal called to their god. In their pagan frenzy, they even mutilated their bodies. But no one answered. The lie of the priests of Baal was revealed.
It is the same with the idols of our time. Eventually, all idolatry is shown to be empty and powerless. The idols of the 21st century promise things they can’t deliver. God alone is worthy of our devotion.
Tomorrow it is Elijah’s turn to call upon the Lord God and demonstrate the power of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.