This chapter describes a great showdown. It’s not between Elijah and Ahab, it’s between God and false belief. The showdown was designed to make Baal look particularly powerless. Baal was the god of storms, so he should have been able to make lighting strike. Mount Carmel typically had large amounts of rainfall, so Baal was considered to be more powerful there. Baal had 450 prophets representing him and God only had one. Baal’s prophets worked very hard to get Baal to respond, but Elijah only said a simple prayer. It’s as if God was saying He can beat Baal with one hand tied behind His back!
You probably aren’t tempted to worship other gods, but you may be tempted to depend on things other than God. You may also be tempted to put extra effort into alternatives, like the prophets of Baal did. Working late, constant monitoring of your investments, doing excessive maintenance on a possession, or being overly cautious in the care of your children could take our focus off of God. God should be more important to us than those things. He cares for us rather than us caring for Him. He will be with us throughout eternity, while other things are only temporary.