Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
1 Kings 18:17-22
17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?”18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.
In 1 Kings 18 we find ourselves in the middle of the ministry of the prophet Elijah to the people of Israel. In v. 17 he is in the middle of a conversation with the wicked King Ahab who is frustrated with him. Elijah, led by the Lord told Ahab that it would not rain for three years, which would lead to a devastating drought in the land. King Ahab brought this upon himself for leading the people of Israel to abandon the worship of the Lord God and worship the false gods Baal and Asherah. In the midst of all that, Elijah challenges Ahab and all the prophets of the false gods Baal and Asherah to a showdown at Mt. Carmel to prove that the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob was the true God.
What is interesting is that right before the showdown takes place, with all the people of Israel there with him at Mount Carmel, Elijah the prophet asks a gripping question: “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?” The word limping means to waver or go back and forth between. See the big issue with the people of Israel is that they bought into the lie that they could worship Baal and the Lord at the same time. The idol Baal was their convenient “side-god.” The idol was known as the god of fertility and so the doctrine promoted drunkenness and fornication as a part of their worship. They could worship Baal for those reasons and then choose to worship Yahweh God when things were going bad for them. They were going back and forth. The only problem is that Yahweh God demands exclusive worship.
If we are not careful we too can become like the Israelites in the book of 1 Kings, can’t we? Our allegiance is divided in nature. We align with the God of the scripture but only worship Him when it’s convenient. Meanwhile we choose to worship the idol of comfort, wealth, pleasure, tradition, self, and many other idols we have crafted. Here is the reality, Yahweh God demands exclusive worship. We are either all in for Him or not. You and I either choose to worship God or that idol, but we can’t worship both. Can I encourage you today? Choose to worship the Lord because there isn’t anything or anyone who compares to His greatness (Isaiah 40). No possession or person has done what the Lord has done for you in sending His Son Jesus to die so that you could have life. No personality or precious item can love and care for you like the Lord does. The Lord is the only One who is worthy of all of our worship.
What needs to happen today to allow the Lord to be the sole object of your worship? What idol/idols are competing for the throne of your heart today? Let me encourage you to lay that idol down and look up to the Lord, choosing to worship Him and Him alone. For in a relationship with Him there is true life (John 10:10).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, You are great and greatly to be praised! Thank you for your love for me! I lay down those idols that are competing for the throne of your heart. Help me to see the reality that You are the only One worthy of worship today and every day. I love you! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”