(NIV1984) 1 Kings 18:38-39 – “Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
“When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD – he is God! The LORD – he is God!'”
I almost want to stop with “Then the fire of the LORD fell” because that’s the culmination, isn’t it? That God’s fire came down immediately by the devotion of His one prophet who was there when all of Baal’s 450 prophets could not, after hours of praying, shrieking, and bleeding make him respond or even get so much as a response.
The fire didn’t just eat the sacrifice – although that would have been enough. It also took the wood, stones, soil, and 15 liters of water! This makes me wonder if it was lightning. But that fire ate up stone /and/ water! That’s just amazing!
And it got the response – the people’s realization. And in the end, that’s all this was about – God turning His people back to Him. It wasn’t a powerplay with Baal. It wasn’t a competition at all. It was God showing His majesty to bring His people back to Him.
And they returned. They fell down. And they acknowledged Him.