Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 18

Prayers in the religion of the false god Baal

1 Kings 18:25-26

The prophets of Baal were people who had given themselves completely to serve the false god Baal. There were 450 of these prophets; the other people believed that the prophets were holy people with great power in the spirit world.

Israel’s people watched as these prophets prayed to their god, Baal. Their ceremonies were very impressive and lasted for several hours. They prayed with great energy. They shouted, and they danced.

They were praying for Baal to send fire, to burn up the gift that they had prepared for him. They truly believed that it would happen. They considered Baal to be an extremely powerful god. When that fire came, they would destroy completely the religion of the true God in Israel. They would declare Elijah to be a false prophet and they would kill him. Baal was the enemy of the true God, and these 450 prophets were the servants of Baal.

In their opinion, Baal had brought success, wealth and pride to their country. However, the true God, who was Baal’s enemy, and his servant Elijah, had caused great trouble to them (18:17). They had prevented the rain (17:1), and now the spirit world no longer operated correctly for Baal’s prophets. So, it was necessary for Baal to show his great power. Then King Ahab would have the confidence to order Elijah’s death. After that, the prophets of Baal believed that the rain would fall. In their opinion, that was when, at last, their magic would work again.

Next part: Why did Baal not send fire? (1 Kings 18:27)


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