We’ve got a baddie here, so you’re probably going to need a refill of whatever coffee or tea you’re drinking to brace yourself for the evil.
Remember how I told you that Jezebel worshipped Baal instead of God? So committed to Baal that she massacred the Lord’s prophets. And wouldn’t you know, there was a sever drought and famine in the land. Go figure.
So, God told Elijah, God’s prophet, to talk with Ahab. And go have a talk with Ahab, he did. Not one to mince words, “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied, “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.” (1 Ki 18:18)
And there it is. The problem. Ahab and his family ditched God for other gods and priorities, including Ahab’s political marriage to Jezebel.
It gets good now. Elijah challenged Jezebel’s prophets of Baal, all 450 of them, to a duel of sorts. Both Elijah and Baal’s prophets would set up altars, “Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.” (1 Ki 18:24) Straightforward, I like it.
So the prophets of Baal start calling on the name of Baal all morning. Nothing happens. They danced around the altar. Nothing. Elijah suggested they shout louder, so they did. Nothing. They even slashed themselves with their swords (ouch!) and still…nothing.
Elijah’s turn. He sets up his altar, then he had them fill four large jugs full of water and dump them on the altar…three times! His altar was sopping wet! Then, Elijah prayed,
“O Lord…let it be known today that you are God in Israel…answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” (1 Ki 18:36)
Guess what happened? Fire came down and burned up the sacrifice. Of course! Because God is the only God! When the people saw it, they started crying out to God. Elijah commanded them to seize the prophets of Baal and put an end to them! And it gets better, off in the distance, a tiny cloud was heading towards them. Soon, it started raining. That should have been good news in a land of severe drought and famine, and yet…Jezebel wasn’t thrilled.
When Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, she went berserk. Psycho. She sent a messenger to threaten Elijah, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them (her dead prophets).” (1 Ki 18:34) Yikes. This lady is not happy. In fact, she’s so scary, that Elijah ran for his life. Yikes again.
Jezebel should have been happy because there was rain. But all she could think about is how in a spiritual battle between her incompetent and absent god, Baal, and the one true God, she lost. And she’s a very sore loser.
(1 Kings 16, 18, 21 & 2 Kings 9)