HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div


Elijah is one of Israel’s greatest prophets, as well as God’s heavyweight champ in an epic bout against a deity named Baal (the Canaanite storm god). In order to prove to the Israelites that God is the only true God, Elijah gathers the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, where for the main event each deity is given a pile of wood with a bull on it. The god who can produce fire and consume the sacrifice wins. Baal goes first, and for half the day his prophets dance, shout, sing, and even cut themselves in order to convince their god to answer Elijah’s challenge. When their efforts fail, Elijah prays to God, who immediately sends fire down from the sky and consumes the sacrifice. The Israelites rededicate themselves to God, and they kill the prophets who deceived them into worshipping Baal.

Later, near the Jordan River, a fiery horse-drawn chariot descends from the sky and takes Elijah to heaven, but not before he appoints a successor named Elisha. Elijah’s atypical departure influenced later biblical prophets, who predicted that Elijah would return as a precursor to the coming of the Messiah. Because of these prophecies, Jews invite Elijah every Passover to usher in the age of the Messiah, and the New Testament writers associate John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus’s ministry, with Elijah.

Author: Godfrey Gregg

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