Hlijah was a prophet of God, who lived in Israel in the time of King Ahab. God used Elijah to perform miracles and bring judgment on the nation of Israel for their worship of the god Baal. At the end of his life, Elias was taken to Heaven in a chariot of fire. His successor was Elisha.
Elijah, Ahab and Jezebel
Ahab, king of Israel, married Jezebel, a foreign princess who induced him to worship the god Baal instead of worshiping God. So God sent Elijah to prophesy against Ahab , warning that it was not going to rain for years to come.
See Jezebel’s story here .
After prophesying, Elijah went into hiding and was fed by crows. Later, Elias went to the city of Sarepta and stayed at the home of a widow he helped, making his food miraculously last a long time. Through his prayer, God raised the widow’s son ( 1 Kings 17 ).
After three years of drought, God sent Elijah to meet Ahab again. Elijah confronted Ahab for his idolatry and challenged Baal’s prophets on Mount Carmel. They built an altar and asked Baal to send fire for the sacrifice but nothing happened.
After many hours, Elijah built an altar to God, soaked it in water and asked God to send fire. God sent fire that consumed everything on the altar. So Elijah killed Baal’s prophets and warned King Ahab that it was going to rain ( 1 Kings 18 ).
Read Elijah’s full story here on Mount Carmel.
When Jezebel heard about the death of Baal’s prophets, she threatened to kill Elijah. So Elijah fled and asked God to die. Guided by God, Elijah went to Mount Horeb, where he spoke to God. Elijah complained that the Israelites abandoned the Lord, but God encouraged him and sent him back to anoint the next king of Israel ( 1 Kings 19 ). In the end, King Ahab was killed as a punishment for his idolatry.
See also Ahab’s story.
Elijah and Elisha
When Elijah returned from Horeb, he recruited a man named Elisha as his assistant. At the end of his life, Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan River. While walking on the banks of the Jordan, Elijah was taken to Heaven in a whirlwind inside a fire cart pulled by fire horses. Elisha was his successor, continuing his ministry ( 2 Kings 2 ).
Read here: who was Elisha in the Bible?
Elijah in the New Testament
At the transfiguration, Elijah appeared talking to Jesus and Moses ( Mark 9: 2-4 ). The people thought that both John the Baptist and Jesus were Elijah, because of miracles and because the book of Malachi said that Elijah would return before the day of the Lord ( Malachi 4: 5-6 ). but both Jesus and John the Baptist denied that they were Elijah. Jesus said that John the Baptist was like Elijah, preaching repentance and preparing the way.
Find out here: 3 life lessons we learned from Elias.
James 5: 17-18 uses Elijah as an example of the power of prayer. Elijah was a normal person but he prayed with faith and miracles happened.