Elijah has a competition with Baal’s priests. Baal has it easier. Wood and a bull animal–let Baal set fire to them. Do something, Baal! But nothing happens.
Now Yahweh, God of Israel, has wood and a bull, but also water drenching and soaking them. Will Yahweh send down fire? Can He?
Which god is true? Baal, the god of fire and water? The ancients picture him standing, his hands upright, with one holding a hammer for thunder; and, in the other, lightning bolts. He has bull’s horns on his head, symbolizing virility. The god of fire! Cry out to Baal, you his priests! Or just cry!
You know the outcome. Yahweh of Israel overcomes all the obstacles. Fire falls from heaven, a blazing inferno leaves a scorched desert.
Baal? A fireless flop! His fire extinguished. His priests a bunch of crybabies.
Many times God is associated with fire in the Old Testament. Moses at the burning bush. By night in the desert during Israel’s forty wandering years.
In our Bible text today, we see Elijah and Elisha walking and talking together when suddenly a chariot and horses appear surrounded by fire!
I was thinking about when worry heats up, might it be the moment to step back, seeing what the Lord has in mind? Not to fear the ‘fire’, but to let it be for my guidance and comfort, sensing His presence in the flames much like what Daniel’s three friends experienced (read Daniel 3).
Fire–not to hurt us but to light our way. Maybe we’ll experience a proverbial ‘cloak from heaven’ giving us new purpose and direction in life as it did for Elisha
Lord, we need faith to see you in the fire of life. Amen.