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Topic: Mountains (09/20/04)
TITLE: Elijah's Gauntlet
By Melanie Kerr
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"Mount Carmel. At dawn. Just be there."
They knew that it came from Elijah,
No warning that they should beware.
The next day they left in high spirits
Baal's prophets too many to count.
All on his own stood Elijah,
As they met at the top of the mount.
The scene was set for a showdown,
With blue cloudless skies spread above.
Elijah threw down his gauntlet,
"Choose today, the God you should love."
He told them to build up an altar,
With a layer of wood on the top,
Then to cut up their bull into pieces.
When ready, they were to stop,
The fire to burn up the offering
Wouldn't come from their lighted match.
That Baal must make his own fire,
And burn up the bull was the catch.
They were definitely up for the challenge,
Convinced that Baal would win.
The odds were too great for Elijah.
They thought that he would give in!
From morning to night they kept dancing,
Louder and louder they cried.
Some took to cutting their bodies.
There was nothing that they hadn't tried
The silence from Baal was deafening.
"Are you sure he's not sleeping in bed?"
Elijah laughed as he mocked them,
"Or away on vacation instead?"
Elijah repaired an old altar
With twelve stones he found on the ground.
He dug a deep ditch all around it.
They watched him not making a sound.
He cut up his bull into pieces,
And then laid it down on the wood,
And then he doused it with water
As only an idiot would.
The crowd by this time had grown quiet,
Remembering stories of old.
This wasn't just some foolish action,
But birthed in a faith strong and bold.
The water, so scarce, was an offering
Saying, "God, it's the best I can give.
I know, for myself that you're real.
If I'm wrong, I've no reason to live."
He lifted his hands to the heavens,
The earth damp beneath his bare feet.
The crowd and the contest had faded.
His gaze on his God was complete.
Then fire from heaven was falling.
The bull and the wood were destroyed.
The stones, the water and soil burnt,
As fire from God's hand was deployed.
The people fell down and they trembled.
They cried, "There's no one but You.
Forgive us, for we are Your people
And You are our God - this is true!"
Elijah commanded the people
To kill the prophets of Baal.
With passion and zeal they slaughtered
Leaving a blood sodden trail.
To sit on the fence is no option.
We must stand on the side of our God,
And build on the faith of Elijah,
And walk the bold path that he trod.
No matter that hundreds may face us
And challenge the faith in our heart
With God on our side we are winners.
And the enemy? Taken apart.