The victory of God on Mount Carmel foreshadows the victory of Jesus Christ on the hill of Calvary. Let us think about how we too can also gain victory in this final battle. I believe the victory has already been granted for us because Jesus died on the cross for us.
Mount Carmel during that time was a centre of idolatry, full of shrines and idols for Baal and Asherath. A temple for the Lord was on top but it had been broken and used for worshipping other idols. Just like Elijah, may we hear God’s instructions to go to Mount Carmel, where all the other altars are active and being used and prove to Ahab and Jezebel and the Israelites that our God is the true living God. How do we do the same in our lives and our families?
1. Elijah repaired the altar
The first thing we need to do is to repair the altar of our hearts. For you to receive answers to your prayers, for us to gain victory, we have to restore worship.
In the Old Testament, there were altars set up by the people of God.
• Noah – After the flood, Noah built an altar.
• Abraham – Build altars wherever he went.
• Isaac – did the same as his father Abraham
• Moses – after he received the Word at Mount Sinai, he wrote it all down and the first thing he did was to set up an altar and gave thanks and worshipped. He then set up 12 pillars for the 12 tribes of Israel.
• Joshua – After conquering the land of Canaan, Joshua built an altar to the Lord in Shechem.
• Gideon – After being called by the Lord, Gideon tests the Lord and before going to war, he set up an altar and called it Jehovah Shalom
• David – For his repentance, God sent Gad to tell David to set up an altar to the Lord at the threshing floor of Araunah
Receiving the Word and then honouring the Word through obedience, fulfil the Word and set up the altar. This is the first secret to repairing our altars.
2. How did Elijah repair that altar?
(i) Elijah prepared and repaired it with 12 stones
Stone in Hebrew = eben. When Abraham sacrificed Isaac, that stone is Eben, that is where the faith of the Father and Son come together. Throughout the bible we see stones (eben in Hebrew) appearing:
• Jacob’s stone in Bethel
• 12 precious stones on the high priest’s breastpiece
• 2 stone tablets of the 10 Commandments
• 12 monument stones as they crossed the Jordan River
• Isaiah – Jesus is the foundation stones, the cornerstone.
• The throne of God that looked like sapphire stones, above the 4 cherubim
• The stone cut out without hands that destroyed the nations of the world, that stone represents Jesus Christ
• When the devil was testing Jesus to turn stone into bread, Jesus says this Stone is the Word of God.
• Jesus Himself is described as the rejected chief cornerstone
• 12 foundation stones on the wall of new Jerusalem.
The stone is the Word of God. The stone tablet upon which the Word of God is written is like your broken heart, you must exchange it with the stone tablets of God, the Word of God, which becomes the foundation for us, which becomes the foundation even for the new Jerusalem.
(ii) Elijah poured 12 pitchers of water
• Stone = Word of God
• Water = Holy Spirit
At Brook Cherith, bread and water were given to Elijah, also representing the Word and Holy Spirit. At the widow’s house in Zarephath, flour and oil were used, also representing the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
It is always the Word and Holy Spirit that continues to accompany Elijah’s path. Obedience is required. Elijah is to do it 3 times. You have 2 altars, and Elijah’s altar needs to have fire come down and burn the whole thing up to win the battle. If you had any logic, you are now pouring the water onto the altar, you would be doubting Elijah: How would the wet wood be put on fire?! It is not logical. Yet the people obeyed 3 times.
12 pitchers = 4 x 3.
4 = number of this world, earth.
3 = number of heaven.
• If you add 4 + 3 = 7.
• If you multiply 4 x 3 = 12
Multiplication = tight unity
When heaven and earth come together, as in our Lord’s Prayer “Done on earth as it is in heaven.” If things are happening in your life on earth as God wills it in heaven, that is unity.
12, therefore, represents the number for God’s people. 12 is a complete number that represents God’s church, and God’s people. That is why in the Old Testament, the chosen people of God are 12 tribes. In the New Testament, followers of Jesus are 12 disciples and 12 apostles. That is why the doors and foundation stones in new Jerusalem are represented by 12 tribes and 12 apostles.
Now the church of the end times, when we are tightly united with God, and with the kingdom of heaven, that is the number 12 = Complete obedience.
The true altar that defeated the forces of Satan is the Cross. The altar at Mount Carmel represented the cross. The time of the evening sacrifice is known as twilight in the Bible. Exodus 12:6 speaks of the Passover Lamb to be kept until twilight, evening sacrifice. Twilight begins at 3 pm, the 9th hour, and that is the time Jesus died on the cross.
May we be people of God who are burning with the fire of the Holy Spirit daily. That fire needs to motivate you and fuel you up, and empower you daily as you go out to the world.