This is told, in part, as it was related by a Jewish tour guide in Israel named Isak, on the way to the international airport in Tel Av-iv, Israel.
As we passed Mt. Carmel, Isak related this account that he says occurred on this mountain. The nation of Israel had begun to turn to pagan gods, specifically Ba'al. They had seen the hand of Yehovah, or Yahweh, (as is said in by the people in Israel today), but had not forgotten the Gods of Egypt. Elijah the prophet had come to them, insisting that they choose one or the other. He told them follow one, or the other, but do not try to follow both. The people were not able to decide, and Elijah propositioned them to challenge their God. Elijah would sacrifice to Yehovah, the God who they had once believed delivered them from Egypt, and the people would sacrifice to Ba'al. Upon their mutual agreement, the God who answered with fire, as would be the request with the offering of sacrifice, would prove to be the true God.
Early in the morning, the people rose to sacrifice to Ba'al and continued beseeching him until noon. When they were without result, Elijah teased them, and told them to 'shout louder' to see the power of their God, perhaps he was pooping, or sleeping. The people took the advice of Elijah and shouted louder, and cut themselves in the practice of bloodletting that they'd learned from surrounding nations. They were not successful. Elijah, however, was able to demonstrate the hand of God in the way he'd said he'd be able to.
I had heard this before, but when Isak was relating this to us about his own people, it made a different impact. The people of Israel had been deeply influenced by the magic of the gods of Egypt. In fact, it was an Egyptian God, Hath-or, that they were attempting to imitate with the infamous construction of the golden calf after crossing the Red Sea. The magic that they'd witnessed was comically limited. According to scripture, when the magic-practicing priests were summoned to 'handle' this little matter of the plagues from Moses (written MW SA in hieroglyphics in the archaeological findings of Egypt meaning 'son of water'), they were never able to repair the problem. They imitated some of the plagues on a smaller scale in some instances, but according to what is written, that was the result of their best effort--imitation. For all their issues with their God, YHWH, The Israelites were an intelligent, hardworking people. But it seems that a survey of the bible reveals that these things do not a person of faith make.
The actual account of Elijah's challenge to the people can be found in 1Kings 18:20-39.