And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 1 Kings 18:30
And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 1 Kings 18:33-34, 36-38
Here, Elijah is seen preparing the altar before offering a sacrifice. 400 prophets of Baal had challenged him to prove and see which God (God of the Baal or the God of Israel) would answer their prayer and bring down fire from heaven.
- The Altar refers to our life. Hence for us, in our time and context, Elijah repairing the broken altar refers to repairing/setting right our own life. Shortcomings and transgressions cause our hearts to become hardened and the altar upon which the fire of God needs to be burning, is found in a broken state. So before offering a sacrifice, this broken heart/life first needs to be repaired.
- Wood refers to false teachings that the devil may have put into our lives. Subtly, through deception and distraction the enemy can sow tares into our heart, making us unfruitful to God. When Elijah laid the wood in order upon the altar, God’s fire came down from heaven and consumed it. Habakkuk 2:18,19.
- Stones refers to a stony heart, which needs to break and become a heart of flesh. When does our heart become hard? When we cease to be grateful to God for all His goodness and slowly begin to take credit for ourselves. Nevertheless God promises to change our stony heart into a heart of flesh when we humble ourselves and yield ourselves to Him. Ezekiel 36:26.
- Dust refers to the fleshly/carnal natures that reign over us. These also need to be burnt by the fire of the Holy Spirit. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6,7.
- Water refers to double minded ness/unstability. Jacob referring to Rueben says he is unstable as water. A double minded person is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8. God has called us to be single minded, that is, our focus must be on God and Him alone.
After setting right the altar and all of the above in its respective place, Elijah just prayed a small prayer and the fire of God ascended from heaven and consumed the burnt sacrifice. The prophets of Baal understood that the God of Israel is the one who answers by fire. When our lives are set in order before God and our actions pleasing in His sight, theLord accepts our life, a living sacrifice by sending His anointing upon us and making us useable vessels for His glory.
May God help us! ❤️