The Story of Elijah in the Bible

The Bible story of Elijah is found in the Old Testament, in the first book of Kings chapters 17 and 18. Elijah's story begins by introducing the state of affairs for the people of Israel. They had been governed by kings for numerous years and several of these kings had been evil.  God was troubled with what the people were experiencing and he delivered his prophet, Elijah, to guide them out of corruption and suffering.  

Before Elijah actually arrives in Israel, God sends a drought as he is so displeased with the people.  Elijah had been residing out in the desert where there was a river with drinking water and God had sent ravens to bring him food. Eventually, the river also dries up and God instructs Elijah to go to the home of a widow who will provide him with food. When Elijah comes to the town of Zarephath, he sees the widow and asks her to get him some water and bread. She replies that she only has a small amount of flour and oil and is collecting sticks so she can cook this last portion of bread as the last meal for her son and herself. Elijah assures her that God will not allow their food to diminish until the rain returns. The widow trusts in Elijah and their food lasted until it rained again. Sometime later, the widow's son became ill and passed away.  The widow was very troubled, believing that Elijah was the reason for this tragedy. Though Elijah was blamed by the widow, he attempted to bring the boy back to life by praying to God. In a miraculous event, God heard Elijah and answered his prayers, and brought the boy back to life. When Elijah returned the boy to his mother, the woman could recognize that Elijah was a man of God and was amazed.

The story continues as Elijah confronts the evil king, Ahab, about being the cause of problems for the people of Israel. Elijah challenges Ahab to a demonstration of his deity, Baal, versus the God of Elijah at Mount Carmel. The challenge is to offer sacrifices to their respective deities and see which starts a fire to prove their divinity. Ahab's prophets pray for hours to Baal but nothing happens.  When it is Elijah's turn he boldly drenches the sacrament with water to display his supreme trust in God to start a fire despite being wet. Then Elijah began to pray:

“O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today

that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have

done all these things at your command.  Answer me, O Lord,

answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God,

and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

God then sent down a fire that completely engulfed the sacrament in flames and the people of Israel rejoiced with a newfound faith in God. The fire was followed by rain ending the long drought, further showing God's grace. The Israelites lost faith in Ahab and followed Elijah's guidance in trusting and recognizing God's sovereignty. 

Read the full scripture text of the Bible story of Elijah below and discover Articles, Videos, and Sermons relating to his life!