Mount Carmel, the very place where Elijah displayed God’s power to the prophets of Baal, is where I stood. The story is told in 1 Kings 18:16-45.
Approximately three years prior to the showdown, Elijah had met with King Ahab to deliver a message from God, whose anger was provoked because of the King’s promotion of Baal worship.
And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab,
“As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall
not be dew nor rain in these years, except at my word.”
1 Kings 17:1
This punishment was a direct response to their belief that Baal, the god of fertility, was also lord of the rain clouds. However, the people still persisted in worshiping their false god.
Upon God’s direction, Elijah returned to challenge the prophets of Baal to determine the identity of the one true God. The Baal prophets went first, and after many hours of praying, shouting, and slashing themselves, their god did nothing to the bull they had sacrificed.
Elijah then meticulously repaired the altar of the Lord, which had fallen in ruins. He next prepared the sacrifice, drenched the meat and wood with twelve pots of precious water, and prayed aloud, acknowledging he was following God’s will and affirming this event was to turn the people’s hearts back to God.
Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the
wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water
that was in the trench.
1 Kings 18:38
Standing in the place where it all happened reminded me of the powerful love of God. All the people, not just the prophets, were gathered to witness this display.
From my vantage on Mount Carmel, I could see the Kishon Valley. This is where Elijah had all the prophets of Baal taken and slaughtered. What a gory sight it no doubt was.
The Kishon Valley is also the site of Megiddo, a strategically located city because it controlled the most important trade and military route in ancient times. Consequently, it was one of the most fought-over cities, being destroyed and rebuilt more than twenty times.
Another name for this city is Armageddon. It was sobering to stand and look over the valley where the final battle of good and evil will take place. This battle is described in the book of Revelation.
The apostle John began the book of Revelation by saying an angel from God was sent to show him what would take place in the future. Next are letters to seven churches then the narrative changes.
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven.
And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying,
“Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
John said he entered heaven in the Spirit. There he witnessed horrific events that will occur in the last days. He first spoke of the last battle in chapter 16 by describing the approach of the evil enemy.
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the
dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the
false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which
go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather
them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Revelation 12:9 identifies the dragon as Satan. The beast may be the antichrist, and the false prophet performs miracles to fool the people. The city where this battle will take place is named in Revelation 16:16.
And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Enter Jesus on a white horse, His eyes blazing. He’s wearing crowns and a robe dipped in blood (Revelation 19:11-13).
And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,
followed Him on white horses.
God revealed his indisputable power and position on top of Mount Carmel when Elijah prayed to Him. This event foreshadows the outcome of the battle to come in the valley below. The actual battle is described in chapter 19.
And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered
together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His
army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who
worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received
the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were
cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were
killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat
on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh (19-21).
Where will Christians be during this battle? We’re part of the army following Jesus on white horses, dressed in white linen. We don’t even have to fight. Revelation 17:14 gives a summary.
These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome
them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are
with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.
Ultimately, there will be a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem where God will dwell with His people (Revelation 21:1-3). Then comes the best part.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall
be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no pain,
for the former things have passed away.