…If the LORD is God, follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him…
— 1 Kings 18:21
Examine all history, sacred and profane, and you will find few, if any, contests comparable to the one described in 1 Kings 18 when Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. It was a matter of life and death for the people involved, for the nation itself, and through them for the whole world, as Satan made this grand attempt to destroy the faith of Israel.
Elijah asked the Israelites a classic question: “How long will you stay between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him, but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). With that, the contest was on.
Baal was the god of the sun, the “giver of life,” the god of fire. So the religion of Baal worship was threatening to crush out the religion of Jehovah, the worship of the true God. Elijah, one of the few prophets of Jehovah left in the world, was the only one who was willing to stand up and confront the overwhelming odds against him—the power of the throne, the power of the false temple of Baal, and all the people who were against him. But God was with Elijah, and God gave him the victory.