Elijah and the Prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:16 – 46)

Scripture Text:

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1 Kings 18:16 – 46

1. Did you ever get burned playing with fire? How so?

2. Ever want to get back to your “roots”? What or who encouraged you in that direction?

3. Why does Ahab think Elijah is the “troubler of Israel”? Why does Elijah reverse the charges?

4. How many people do you think assembled on Mount Carmel (verse 19)? Are the prophets of Baal native Israelites (see chapter 16:31, 32)?

5. What was Elijah’s main reason for challenging the other prophets?

  • to show them up
  • to destroy them
  • to prove the Lord’s superiority
  • to call Israel back to the Lord

6. Why was Ahab willing to risk a confrontation at Mount Carmel?

  • he respected Elijah
  • he thought his prophets would win
  • he wanted the people to decide
  • he would look bad if he refused
  • everyone loves a good contest

7. Why did the people say nothing when Elijah challenged them in verse 21?

  • they were confused
  • they were afraid
  • they were angry
  • they were ashamed
  • they thought it was okay to worship both the Lord and Baal

8. What reason does Elijah give for the prophets of Baal going first (verse 22 – 26)?

9. Is this a battle of doctrine? Logic? Power? What’s the relationship between power and doctrine?

10. Is Elijah being overly dramatic by the three water dowsings, the trench and all (verses 30 – 35)? Where did they find so much water, given the three-year drought?

11. Is it over-reacting to have all the priests of Baal slaughtered (verse 40)? Why or why not?

12. The thing that impresses me the most about Elijah in this dual is his:

  • guts
  • faith
  • taunting
  • theatrical flair
  • prayer
  • fury

13. When God sent down fire, he was:

  • making Himself perfectly clear
  • venting His anger
  • purifying the people
  • endorsing Elijah’s ministry

14. When the people shouted, “the Lord – he is God”, they were:

  • scared to death
  • convinced
  • humbled
  • responding out of emotion
  • truly converted

15. Why does Elijah tell Ahab to “eat and drink” and his servant to keep looking (verses 41 -44)? What must they be thinking? Why does Elijah assume the fetal position on Carmel? What must he be feeling?

16. How does Elijah outrun Ahab’s chariot (verse 46; see chapter 18:12)?

17. What convinces you that God is more powerful than anything else?

  • thunder and lightning
  • seeing how God has changed me
  • the reality of miracles
  • the truth of His Word
  • the sincerity of Christian people
  • the inadequacy of competing “gods”

18. Are you “wavering between two opinions” right now in regard to obeying God’s will? Which one will you follow and why?

19. Is your devotion to God leading you into any “showdowns”? What kind of “betting odds” are you facing?

20. Are skeptics today more convinced by logical arguments, emotional appeals or miraculous power? Which of these three convinced you of the truth of Christianity?

21. Does God show power today? Or is Christian witness more one of subtle good deeds and words fitly spoken?

22. Does God give you extra strength to do His will? What kind of strength do you need now?

23. Have you ever wanted to follow Elijah’s example and boldly ask for a public miracle in Jesus’ name? Who will look stupid if God doesn’t produce? Does doubt create a risk that God won’t come through? Or is God out of the flashy miracle business? Have  you ever gone ahead and then been left in the lurch by God?




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