FROM CARMEL’S LOFTY HEIGHTS

When as a child I first began to hear of the prophet Elijah and his dual with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. I could not have imagined the immensity of the moment. Carmel rises rapidly from the plain of Megiddo, the site of the coming Armageddon. It is sufficiently high to cause it to be cool to cold the entire year. Here Elijah first watched the helpless priests of Baal work themselves into a frenzy while he taunted them and then demonstrated the power of God by calling down fire from heaven with a simple prayer. Standing on top of Carmel, the whole event came alive. Imagining a stream of fire in a divinely ordered lightning bolt was easy. A grand statue of Elijah with sword in hand standing over a slain false prophet stands in the courtyard of the Carmelite compound as a vivid reminder of this mountain of a man and his triumphant day atop this mountain. We must always remember that Elijah was only great because he served a great God. We serve the same God. Do we expect God to answer in dramatic and powerful ways when we pray? After this event, Elijah prayed for rain as he looked toward the Mediterranean coast. A servant saw a cloud that a man’s hand could cover and Elijah announced to Ahab that it was going to rain. We could look down the slope where the amazing prophet out ran the chariot of Ahab with a supernatural pace all the way to Jezreel.
In a modern setting we should note that there is an Israeli bunker under the plains of Megiddo where military aircraft are protected until they arise almost mystically from beneath the earth and take off into the heavens above. What a country! They still make you think of God by their most unusual ingenuity and way of life.

Dan Wooldridge

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