Elijah sets up a test to prove that the Lord is God, not Baal. 450 prophets will call on the storm god to provide lightning to set fire to their sacrifice. They call on their god all morning and all afternoon. They hear no voice, no answer.
Who are we more likely to trust in times of danger, deprivation? Where do we turn for help? When we don't get an immediate positive solution, what do we do next?
The followers of Baal had been unable to evoke a miracle. Yet, when Elijah prayed to the Lord to do something to impress the people, the Lord responded with a fire that "consumed the offering, the wood, the stones, the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench."
Israel has been convinced.
Allen and Williamson in their Preaching the Old Testament point out that far more than a miracle story, our text raises questions of how we think and speak of God. Baal provides no voice and no answer. God is companion, vulnerable, affected by prayer, interacts with God's people and God's world.
But what do we think when our droughts continue? When someone else gets all the rain they need?