Carmel, Calvary, and the Ultimate Showdown (1 King 18:20-39)

Read 1 King 18:20-19 in NASB.

This is a fun story. I remember hearing it when I was in fifth grade. I thought it would be cool to prove God is real, just like Elijah. Now I see that this story is a type and shadow of Jesus proving that sin and death is destroyed by God and not the works of man. He did it though His death and resurrection.

It is important to note that Elijah is the only prophet of God and the prophets of Baal are numerous. Baal is a false god and therefore represents the works of man. Jesus was in the same situation as Elijah. He was the only one who saw that God was a loving Father who gave eternal life as a free gift. He was surrounded by those who thought that we can have life by our own works.

Elijah decided to have a contest to see who was the true God, Baal or the Lord. The prophets of Baal split an ox in half and place it on a pile of wood and Elijah split an ox in half and places it on a pile of wood.

The prophets of Baal call on their god to bring fire down to burn the ox. Nothing happens. Then Elijah digs a trench around his pile of wood and drenches the things with water, to the point that the trenches are full of water. Elijah calls on God to send fire. God sends a fire that burns the ox and consumes all the water. The people declare that the Lord is God.

It is proven that God alone can destroy sin and death (represented by the oxen), which was the main point of the contest. Baal, the works of man’s hands cannot. However, God can. The fire of God is his love to destroy all the sin and death in the world.

The fire consuming the water correlates to Song of Songs 8:6-7 that says that many waters cannot quench the fire of God’s love. His love will not stop destroying sin and death until it is completely gone.

For now, we see the fire of His love destroy all wrong thinking in us. It will destroy the lies about who God is and who we are. Upon the return of Jesus, it will wipe out all sin and death on the Earth. Those who believe in God for eternal life will have immortal bodies. Death and Hades (the grave) will be destroyed in the fire of God’s love (Rev 20:14).

The people sea that the Lord is the one . Please note that in the Bible, the word “Lord” is shown to be in small capital letters. This means that the Hebrew manuscripts used the name Yahweh which means “existing one” or “I am”.

In fact, Elijah’s name actually means “God is Yahweh”. God is the existing one. He is the one with no end or beginning. He is the only source of eternal life. Through the resurrection of Jesus, we see that he gives that eternal existance to us just so He could love us forever.

He proved this eternal existence is a free gift through the death and resurrection of Jesus. This showdown on Mount Carmel is a parallel of that. What can burn away the sin and death in the world. Can the works of man’s hand do that? No. In fact, the cross is a picture of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The death of Jesus on Mount Calvary is the fruit of the works of man’s hand. Can God do that? Yes. We see that in the resurrection.

The death and resurrection show us Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life,” We have misinterpreted the verse as, “God will torture you forever for doing bad things, but if you believe in Him, you will forever be a floaty spirit in a happy place.”

The true meaning is that life by our works leads to death but God gives eternal life as a free gift. This truth can be seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was foreshadowed on Mount Carmel.

The Birth of Samuel (1 Samuel 1)

Read in NASB

Discussing this passage has been an interesting process. I’ve stopped trying to find meaning out of every detail in a Bible passage. I just enjoy the beauty of the truth. Yet, the Holy Spirit still points out the meaning behind the details. With that in mind, I’m going to show you how this passage shows us that God hears our cry that we aren’t experiencing life.
In this passage, a woman named Hannah is not having children, a type and shadow of our inability to produce life. She weeps over it, the same way we weep over the fact that we shall die. Her husband is an Ephraimite, part of a group that believes in life by our own works. This means she is married to the law system. It is the belief in life by our own works that brings about death.
Hannah cried out at a place named Shiloh. Shiloh means tranquility. It shares the same origin as shalom, which means peace, completeness, safety and soundness. Here is my teaching on peace. Eli, a priest, is the one who comforted her. His name means “high, above, ascended.” He is a type and shadow of Jesus, our ascended priest who is seated at the right hand of the Father.
The ascension of Jesus further confirms our standing with God. We have the same standing with God as Jesus. He is at the right hand of God, showing himself to be equal with God. We are equal with God. He is above sin and death. We are above sin and death. The father resurrected Jesus the same way he will resurrect us. We may experience this resurrection life now. As we meditate on the resurrection of Jesus and our future resurrection, the we feel peace and joy among the sin and death in the world.
Hannah experienced the voice of sin and death in the world. Her husband had another wife, Peninnah. She is a type and shadow of the law. The law is the belief that we must have life by our own works. It points to our inability to produce life the same way Peninnah taunted Hannah for not having kids.
Yet God heard Hannah’s cry and bore her a child. In the same way, God hears our cries that we aren’t seeing life and provides us a way to have life, the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus died in our sins and was resurrected. This is the ultimate proof that God will provide eternal life. God will resurrect those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus and love them for all eternity.
Even now we can enjoy eternal life, which Jesus defines as a personal relationship with God. Such a life produces the fruit of the Spirit and we are free from trying to produce life. This calms the flesh and we don’t have to turn to the works of the flesh to have life.
By the way, God did not close the womb of Hannah. The writer of 1 Samuel did not have full revelation of who God is, so he falsley blamed God for things God did not do.