Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 18

Elijah stands alone for the true God

1 Kings 18:22

When Elijah stood in front of Israel’s people at Carmel, there was no other person to support him. He alone stood there on behalf of Israel’s true God. In that situation, Elijah was like Moses in Exodus 32:30-34. The whole nation had turned away from God to serve false gods. So, Israel’s future relationship with God depended completely upon Elijah’s prayers for them. However, Elijah had seen that the people were unwilling to turn back to God. He had urged them to decide whether they would serve the true God, or the false god called Baal. Nobody answered him (18:21). Until they turned back to the true God, God would not accept them.

Therefore, Elijah saw that he must pray for God to act in great power among them. If God did not act, then Israel would become like Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:9). Sodom and Gomorrah were the wicked cities that God destroyed in Genesis 19:1-29. However, God had made clear and definite promises to Israel (for example, Genesis 12:1-3). Those promises gave Elijah the confidence to pray that God would save Israel.

It was true that certain people in Israel had remained loyal to the true God (18:3-4). Elijah believed them to be few in number, and too weak. They were not brave enough to stand with Elijah on this occasion; they did not have the power in prayer that he had. However, these people were important in God’s plan. In fact, God would use them to answer Elijah’s prayer and to bring about God’s plans and purposes in Israel (1 Kings 19:18; Romans 11:2-5 and 11:25-31).

Next part: A test of Baal's powers (1 Kings 18:23-24)


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