And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”1 Kings 18:27
In the midst of the competition, Elijah is unable to contain himself. Really? This is the god the Lord’s people had chosen to serve? A god who couldn’t even hear their cries? Was he sleeping through their pleas? In devastating fashion, Elijah’s mocking makes the point that Baal is powerless, and his worshippers are hopeless. But as a prophet of the Lord, Elijah isn’t just a bunch of talk. Elijah’s words drove home the impotence of Baal, but his actions put the power of God on display for all to see. Vastly outnumbered, Elijah didn’t shrink back. He called on the Lord, who answered swiftly and decisively, not only by sending fire but also by sending the rain Baal was mistakenly believed to control.
The contrast here is clear. Baal is powerless. His worshippers are hopeless. But the Lord’s power is unmatched and unlimited. And His people are never without hope, no matter what the circumstances say. Elijah’s confidence before the prophets of Baal wasn’t about his own ability to outthink or overpower 450 opponents. Elijah’s confidence was about God’s power, which Paul points us to in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, exclaiming in light of the resurrection, “”O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, our greatest threats will prove to be just as powerless and defeated as Baal, and that means we have hope no matter what this day brings.