Elijah challenged the wicked King Ahab and his 450 priests of Baal to a contest. It was at the time that a 3 year drought was just ending. King Ahab knew that Elijah had great power-evidenced by the heavens withholding the rain at his command. So why did he and the wicked priests so readily agree to a contest on Mt. Carmel? Were they not afraid?
Not at all. Not relying only on their prayers, these priests brought an altar with a hollow base from a nearby shrine and inside it concealed the wicked Beth-elite Hiel with a pot of burning charcoal.
When the priests called loudly on "the name of Baal," Hiel was to insert the burning charcoal through a hole in the altar to light the fire. But the fraud was foiled, for a serpent crept beneath the altar and bit Hiel so that he died.
The priests then danced and sang and shouted, thinking that Hiel had fallen asleep. But in vain the false priests cried and called Baal! Baal!-- and the expected flame did not shoot up.
Then Elijah began having a little fun at their expense.
About noontime Elijah began mocking them. "You'll have to shout louder," he scoffed, "for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!"
I just love it when the plans of cheaters are thwarted.
Rabbi's Bible: Early Prophets By Solomon Simon, Morrison Bial pgs. 182-183
The Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg pgs. xvi and 586-587