This segment is taken from 1 Kings 18 31-40. Elijah is now on Mount Carmel with his altar all prepared and he is about to begin the preparation of the bullock for the actual sacrifice. There were specific conditions in the Hebrew law of how to prepare the sacrifice. It was bled carefully, quartered and jointed, the pieces were laid upon the dry wood.
Then Elijah turned to the people to ask their participation. He had asked them, “Fill four barrels with water and pour it over the sacrifice!” Where were they going to find water in a drought? Everything was dried up. But there was a sea at the foot of Mount Carmel. These barrels were filled from this water which was salt water. There was also a law that no sacrifice could be offered without salt. Salt was an essential part of every offering. In earlier days, salt was more sought after than gold. It was even used as a barter item instead of money. It is essential to our own bodies. By offering salt, it was a way to participate in the offering ourselves. This is why Elijah asked the people to pour it over the sacrifice, the rocks, the wood and the altar. Without the salt – there is also a different odor – a more unpleasant one. It is not satisfactory to offer without it. By the people’s participation in pouring this salt water, they too participated in this offering to God.
Now the preparations were complete. No buzzards or insects were about because of the salt that covered the sacrifice. Now Elijah raises his heart, his arms, his eyes and his voice to God. His voice is like a trumpet blast proclaiming the hour of battle…..
“O God, Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that You, and You alone are God in Israel.”
He then states:
“O God, let it be known I am Your servant.”
With hands still uplifted, he states, “O God, let it be shown that everything I have done has been at Your command.”
Everything he had ever done was in accord with God’s will…every step, every word, every action and every prayer. He was an obedient servant of the one true God.
Just as his sacrifice was soaked in the salt water, Elijah’s soul was saturated with the Word of God. He was God’s servant. As a man right with God, he yells out….
“Hear me, O Lord God, hear me! Respond in positive proof that this perverse, petulant people may know assuredly that you are God, very God, calling them back in repentance, turning them to Yourself once more!”
The Good God heard and answered his cry – A flash of fierce celestial fire fell upon the evening sacrifice. The flames blazed and burned with fury. All was obliterated – bullock, wood, stones and even the damp soil! All was done in a miraculous instant – no long drawn out burning. God had shown Himself faithful to His faithful servant.
All fell prostrate and yelled out, “The Lord, He is the God! The Lord, He alone is the God!”
Elijah yells out, “Seize the false prophets of Baal. Don’t let a single one escape!” And in righteous anger and blazing indignation the fiery prophet commanded the people to help him exterminate this evil scourge that had enslaved them for so long. We are not given the grim and gory details of how the 450 false prophets of Baal were put to death. We know only that it was done.
Lesson for us: Men cannot go on sinning without the intervention of God to put it to a stop. God is a God of love, compassion, concern and incredible patience. He calls to all men to turn to Him and live a life of service and love to Him and to our neighbors. Death comes to those who choose evil. We in our own day, are seeing the likes of evil that we have never seen before…. In the Church and in the world many have turned away from God. We have millions of abortions, widespread homosexuality, public Satan worship, abuses of our children from divorce to forced sex changes, the man-made weather changes, the technology used to harm and survey all people. The mass enslavement of the entire earth’s population for total world domination will see its hour but God will have His Way in the end. Men who follow the dictates of Satan never last long and unfortunately suffer an eternal death. May we turn to God in repentance before the Day of Judgement is upon us so that we may be with Him for an eternity of love. This is our hope and our joy! May we persevere through these trying times!
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel pray for us!
St. Elijah, pray for us!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!