1Ki 18:26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
1Ki 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
1Ki 18:28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
1Ki 18:29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
The prophets of Baal could not get the attention of their god even after they put themselves on the altar they had built. Their god was not there when he was needed the most. They sacrificed themselves to a god that was not who they thought he was.
The devil will take the form of many gods if you allow it consume you, and distract your attention from the one true God. In the days we live in he uses other means of distractions. He uses entertainment, money, sports, etc. He don't really care what you are doing as long as it is not serving God. If you are not serving God, you are serving yourself.
Sometimes we have all intentions of serving God. We plan to read his word and spend time in prayer, but when we are all done serving ourselves, there is just no time left for God. Have you ever noticed, when you are on the internet, or playing a game how time slips away from you? You can have all intentions of only playing a video game for a few minutes, but when you are finished hours have past. We have no time for God unless we make time for God.
1Ki 18:30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.
1Ki 18:31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
1Ki 18:32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.
Elijah took great care in building the altar to God. He was meticulous about the way it went together and what was incorporated into it. There was meaning and purpose in everything he put into it.
31. twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name. These stones represented God's people.
32. And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. I cant help but to believe the trench around it was to prove even more God is God. Have you ever tried to catch water on fire? He was building his altar unto God, not unto man. ( Eph 6:5-7 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:)
1Ki 18:33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
I don't know what the order was, but it wasn't just thrown together. There was an importance of the way he put the wood, or the order it went. sometimes we need to rethink the way our lives are put together. Make sure it is in order.
1Ki 18:34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
1Ki 18:35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
Then he called for TWELVE barrels of water to poured out onto his sacrifice. The people he wanted to get the water and pour it out was the Baal worshippers. These people didn't want this sacrifice to burn. In my mind, I can picture these folks looking for the dry places. They wanted to make sure Elijah's sacrifice was water logged. By the time they were finished everything was soaked. There was a ditch full of water around the altar. They knew there was no way this thing would ever catch on fire, BUT Elijah was preparing for something with expectations.
1Ki 18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
1Ki 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. After all the work was done Elijah prayed over his sacrifice, that it would be pleasing and acceptable to God. He was giving ALL the glory to God and allowing himself to be used, not for his own gain or profit, but that it would turn the hearts of those around him back toward God.
Sometimes we look for credit for the things God has done, but that has never been God's intention. Matt. "7:22 says there are going to people who come to Jesus looking for credit for things God has done. They will say look at me Lord here I am. I have cast out devils in your name and I have done all these things in your name, and Jesus will say depart from me I never knew you." We cannot do anything on our own without the power God has given us. It is never what we have done, but what God has done through us.
1Ki 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
Then after Elijah had put all this work and effort into it, God moved upon the altar. His sacrifice was not just a half hearted offering. He had time and hard work invested. He put thought into it. There were things that were incorporated that had meaning. It was not what he had left over that was offered. There may have even been some imperfections in it, but that is to be expected. We are not perfect, but that is where grace and mercy come in. Gen 6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. God gave Noah the blueprints for the ark. He told him what to use and how to use it. When the ark was done there were still imperfections, because it was built by human hands. That is were the pitch comes in. The pitch was to cover Noah's imperfections not God's imperfections. This is mercy in action. God provides something to cover our imperfections, but there is a work on our part required. Pitch (mercy) does not work if we don't do the work required to build the ark. There is nothing in the bible that says or even suggest that we can make it to heaven without any effort on our part.
When God moved on the altar not only did the fire consume the bullock and the wood, but the bible says it consume the stones also. These stones were symbolic of God's people. If we are going to be God's people, we must be acceptable, and consumed with God.
Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Mar 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
What does this mean? If we will allow ourselves to be consumed by God, we will have a renewed mind regularly because we will gain understanding. The book of Malachi says if we offer an unclean sacrifice we are sinning. The sacrifice is not acceptable. We are defiling the altar to God. If we are to be a "living sacrifice" we need to be clean "holy, acceptable unto God". If you offer yourself on Sunday and mix with the world the rest of the week, and you cannot tell a difference between you and the world, you are an unclean sacrifice. If we have a bad attitude, that would make us an unclean sacrifice. If we have things in our heart that does not belong, even if no one else knows, we are an unclean sacrifice. In Gen 1:26 Man is created in God's own image, after his likeness WITH DOMINION OVER ALL THE EARTH. God gives us the power to overcome everything that will ever come against us.
In Gen 3:16 God is speaking to the serpent and says,
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." If you have ever had a bruised heel, or a sore foot in any way you will notice it effects the way you walk. Your walk will speak when your voice is silent. If you ask a doctor they will tell you when you have a sore foot, it will effect other parts of your body because you are catering to your sore foot. It can cause other parts of your body to be sore. If we are the body of Christ, then our "sore foot walk" will effect the other parts of the body around us. In affect our walk is partly responsible for our fellow brethren. OUR WALK SHOULD BE HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD.
STANDARD, n. [G., sort, kind.]
1. An ensign of war; a staff with a flag or colors.
2. That which is established by sovereign power as a rule or measure by which others are to be adjusted. (1) A standard tells who you belong to, who and what you stand and fight for, and who sent.(2) A higher expectation.
We should look different, act different, be different, walk different, live different, talk different. What does your standard reflect you are? Who does your standard say you belong to? We should have a desire to be held to a higher standard. We should expect to be held to a higher standard. Our lives should be consumed by God at all times, not just on Sunday.1Ki 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Humility, Prayer, and Obedience ARE GOD'S PRERQUISITES FOR REVIVAL. True revival will not and cannot be produced any other way. WE MUST BE CONSUMED.