About three years later the Lord tells His prophet to present himself to the king. The famine was severe and Ahab took the initiative to seek a remedy for the livestock. During this time, presumably, the king’s wife takes her own initiative and kills the Lord’s prophets – perhaps blaming them for the deprivation (18:1-6). Obadiah, the Lord’s servant, is now approached by the prophet that he might seek an “interview” with the king. Obadiah is frightened by this request, but Elijah reassures him (18:7-16). The king arrives and immediately calls Elijah a “troubler of Israel” on account of the famine. Elijah rejects such an appellation and says the problem actually rests with Israel’s leadership in the king (18:17-18). In order to demonstrate who is the real “troubler of Israel,” Elijah calls upon the king to round up all his prophet and “let’s have a showdown.” This satisfies the king and the “contest” is on. Elijah takes advantage of the opportunity and calls for the attention of the inhabitant of the land concerning their determination to waver back and forth as a piece of drift wood. The contest unfolds and it was soon seen that there was no contest at all (18:19-38). Having demonstrated His authority, Elijah calls upon the people to round of the liars (false prophets) and render the Lord’s judgment against them (18:39-40). The king was amazed and humiliated in the presence of the people, but the king was also granted a reprieve when the Lord said rain was forthcoming (18:41-46).
Application: There are so many people today that follow “Baal” worship. It may not be worship like it was back then, but it is worship just the same. The Lord, already having demonstrated His authority, people just the same cast Him to the side. They do this because they want to. Whatever influence there may be in this world, it is because people want to leave that they leave the Lord. There will be a contest one day (judgment day), but on that occasion there will be no opportunity to declare one’s side of the contest. It will be entirely one-sided!