From, Pastor May:
1 Kings 18:16-40
Elijah’s question in verse 21 gets right to the heart of the matter, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” First there’s the simple logic of the question. After all, why try to ride two horses at once? But then there’s the underlying problem. The people weren’t really trying to ride two horses… they had rejected God. After all, God did say, “No other gods.” But the people wanted a god they could understand… a god who was more like them.
The people eventually accept his logic and Elijah even gives Baal the advantage: four hundred and fifty… to one. And what zeal those “prophets” throw into their worship and praise! What energy they pour into their request. Verses 26-29 describes calling and shouting, dancing and leaping, and even cutting and slashing. These people were willing to shed their blood in order to get their god’s attention. By the end of the day, the prophets of Baal were a frantic, bloody, delirious mess. And “ there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.”
The people of Israel had long ago rejected a God Who was not like them. Elijah highlights it in his taunting, “Shout louder.” He just can’t hear you, he’s lost in thought, he’s gone on a trip, in the other room, he’s sleeping, he’s busy with someone who really got his attention… so they even go so far as to have their own blood pouring down their bodies. Zeal and energy do not change the nature of what we are pursuing. If it’s not God, no amount of dedication will make it any less… an idol.
Fortunately for us, God is not like we are. His love is so much better than ours. We have His complete and total attention at all times. We don’t have to shout, we don’t have to dance. He never leaves (for even a moment). His only recorded trip is when God the Son entered this world as one of us. And you don’t have to shed your blood to win over his heart, though he certainly wasn’t above shedding his blood to win yours. The God who was rejected never… rejects us. That’s a love worth shouting and dancing about!
Dear Jesus, help me battle the temptation to look for what I need anywhere besides you. Thank you for your faithfulness to me. May I proclaim that faithfulness to others. Amen.