"How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God , follow him." 1 Kings 18:21
Elijah posed this question to the people of Israel prior to his showdown with the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel. The last part of this verse says it all as to where the hearts of the people of Israel were camped.
"But the people said nothing."
I think this is one of those times when silence says it all. More like screams it. No one jumped up to declare their loyalty to God Almighty. Nope. They were holding out for Baal to win the day. Then they could go about their lives and not have to straighten up and fly right. And when Elijah declared that the god who answers with fire is God...well the silence erupted into a chorus of voices declaring this decision-making process "good." A good fire show always makes choosing the right god easier. Problem is the people of Israel already knew who God was and is. He had been declaring Himself to them for centuries. They had chosen not to listen. They had made their choice.
I wonder how we would choose today if the church had to choose a side. Choose God's way or the world's way. Choose the Word of God over the word of man. Choose surrender to Christ rather than happiness in this life.
Would we choose wisely? Are we choosing correctly? Or is our silence condemning us?
Once again, silence speaks volumes. This is what the people of Israel heard after the priests of Baal had shouted and pleaded all day. Nothing. They heard absolutely nothing.
"But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention." 1 Kings 18:29
Imagine that...false gods not listening, responding or answering. Why do we, meaning those of us that allegedly know the Holy One of Israel, why do we continually expect the gods of our own creation to listen to us, care about us, or rescue us? They do not exist anywhere but in our minds. We can try to recreate God into a god that does our bidding, follows our rules, and bows to our demands, but we will fail every time. God does not change. Who He was in the Old Testament is who He is in the New Testament, and who He is today is who He will be tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8)
Isn't that what we should desire in the God we worship? A God that is consistent and doesn't change according to popularity votes or demands of an evil and fallen world. Why do we want a God that excuses sin and changes His mind and gives our awful behavior a rubber stamp of approval? Where is the justice in that? If He excuses one sin and "declares" it okay via the words of those that are "progressive" (i.e. those smarter than every Bible scholar in the history of the world, Moses, Paul and Jesus), why not excuse all that He has labeled as sin in the Bible? What's wrong with lying, cheating, and murdering? Where are we willing to draw our proverbial line in the sand?
"Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "the Lord-he is God! The Lord-he is God!" 1 Kings 18: 38-39
Are we waiting on fireballs from heaven before we are willing to choose a side? Or is His Word, His Son's life for our sins, sufficient enough for our knees to bow and our tongues to confess? There is no middle area. You either believe His Word or you don't. You either except God on His terms or you create a god of your own making.
You are free to choose either, but a choice will be made. If you believe the God of the Bible is the one true God then your only option is to follow Him. Not the world. Not your desires. Him.
Any choice other than Christ Jesus puts you on the same side as the priests of Baal, which is on the wrong side of eternity.
How long will you waver between the two? How long?
Today's reading: 1 Kings 18:16-39
Further readings: Psalm 77:13; Jeremiah 16:20; Exodus 34:14; Psalm 24: 4-5; Psalm 4:2-3; John 14:6; Joshua 24:15