In I Kings 18, we see that Elijah had a very real problem with enemies. Sin was in the land, and it was running unchecked among God’s people. The Lord’s prophet was put in place to turn God’s people back to worshipping God, rather than following the forces of witchcraft and idolatry.
God had sent a massive drought to let King Ahab know that He meant business. Ahab ignored the warning, and instead put a bounty on Elijah’s head. His wife, Queen Jezebel-- who followed Baal and other gods--had already established herself as a killer of God’s prophets, and didn’t blink an eye about murdering Elijah.
The Lord told Elijah to make himself known to Ahab, and to issue a challenge as to who’s god was supreme in the land. The showdown site? Mount Carmel. All of Israel was invited to witness the event. Jezebel’s prophets of Baal and prophets of the groves strutted to the site, thinking nothing about Elijah. After all, they had him outnumbered 850 to 1.
How did Elijah respond to overwhelming odds? He smiled and let his enemies go first. When Jezebel’s false prophets failed to live up to their 'hype' and belief in Satanic sorcery, he ridiculed them as outlined in I Kings 18:27: “…Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked (KJV).”
Whenever there is a showdown between black (or white) magic and of God, God wins! God’s people, who had been following paganism and idolatry, had to learn by eyeball witness that God doesn’t ‘bow’ to any form of evil. I Kings 18:21 records: “…How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” The end result? The 850 false prophets lost the contest AND their lives. The righteous repented, and the rains came to spare the land. Elijah led and won the day not with a whimper of fear, but with the laugh of faith in the true God.