And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him:
but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
SUBJECT – THE GLOVES ARE COMING OFF!! [PT 7]
When I ended part 6,
I had been addressing how Elijah's message, appeared to be just another remedy, in a long line of remedies, that the people were pursuing, to deal with all of their problems, and suffering.
You know, these are the people that, experienced the power of God, first hand, when He delivered them from Egypt. How He sent all types of plagues on the Egyptians, and, at the same time, isolated them from it. Then, He splits the Red Sea for them, so that they can go over on dry land, then destroys Pharaoh's army in it, when they try to pursue the children of Israel, through it.
Here was God, demonstrating His power, yet, the minute they ran in to problems, they get to murmuring and complaining about how bad things are.
When that happens, God, decides to let them experience just what it is like, if He decides not to help them. He does this, because they don't appreciate Him, and what He has done, for them.
It is much the same way today.
God has essentially blessed us, with far more than we really deserve, given the fact that we carry on, as if He owes it to us. And, if He doesn't deliver, then, we go, as the bible calls it, 'a whoring'
after other sources of blessing.
Many people today, just like back then, fail to take in to account, all of what God has done for them, especially when another problem pops up.
Have you ever noticed how, when this nation runs in to hard times, there is an almost, immediate explosion of psychics, and others, that pop out of the woodwork, with suggestions that supposedly will lead you in to a better life??
Those are the prophets of Baal, seeking to entangle the people in a web of deceit and confusion, to the point where they just don't care anymore, because nothing seems to make that big of a difference. It all seems like just one big maze where no matter which way you go, you end up at a dead end.
What all of this does, is wear down your resistance, where you just don't care anymore. And that's when he, Baal, has you just where he wants you. Because, once you reach that state, you essentially just learn to live with your situation, without any clear path to any solution. So, you essentially grow stagnant, and eventually die.
This was the state the children of Israel had gotten to. They didn't seek God, Baal, or anything else, because none of them seemed to make any difference in their situation.
Mind you now, all of this came about, because they had turned their backs, so to speak, on God. And, at that point, God allowed them to go their own way, just to let them see, that they could not prosper without Him.
It was not so much that the prophets of Baal, could offer anything better, they just didn't want the people to turn back to God, so they told them, 'if God is really as powerful as His 'prophets', say He is, then, why isn't He helping you??'
That is the same argument we have today in this nation. People tend to believe, if God is Real, then, why all the misery, war, suffering, crime, poverty, and everything else, that seems to show that He must be asleep, or just doesn't care.
Now mind you, this confrontation, includes, God's people, which today, is the Church, having to decide between, those preachers that want to protect their influence with the people, so that they can continue to live high on the hog, and have power over the masses, and be worshiped by them, and the occasional odd man out, the one that stands on the Word of Almighty God, who, if you look at them, they don't even look like they should be given a second thought.
A good case in point, John the Baptist.
If ever there was a man, that just didn't look the part, as a messenger of Almighty God, he was it. The only attention he probably got, at first, was because of how weird, he looked. He probably looked like the classic portrayal of a caveman. Half naked, unshaven, probably smelled like, you know what, and eating bugs and honey?? Not much for anyone to say, 'when I grow up, I want to be like him.'
But, as we know, history has proven, looks can be deceiving.
It never ceases to amuse me, how God, makes fools out of these men, and women, who are the self appointed saviors of the people, that the news media always flock to, to hear some words of hope, like the classic, 'keep hope alive'
that when given, ends up being just one more instance of the blind leading the blind.
If we look at the so-called batting average of these people, they are batting .000. Every thing they say, comes back to bite them in their rear ends.
Getting back to the case in point.
So you have someone that, seems to be in just as bad a shape as everyone else, and should, by all accounts, be completely rejected, and yet, this is the type of person God chooses to use.
If you will remember, Jesus, also fit this type of profile. So, there is a long line of men, and women, in history, like this.
Well, Elijah, being one of them, appeared to be just another ordinary individual, that had nothing about himself, that was worth paying attention to. That is, until he put forth a challenge. But once again, it seemed a little idiotic, that one man, would be essentially challenging an entire people, and 450 prophets. He was bound to lose.
Had I been living back then, with what I know about God today, I would have taken all bets against what was about to happen. Of course, in case you don't know it, I don't gamble. However, in this case, it would have been a sound investment, with a guaranteed return of over 1000%.
So, the scene is set. Elijah against 450 prophets of Baal. He sets the ground rules.
1Ki 18:22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
1Ki 18:23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
1Ki 18:24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
1Ki 18:25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
It stands to reason, that, if 450 men, represent every god that there is, then, they should have no trouble calling on their masters, to perform a simple demonstration of their power. After all, if someone is going to be a representative or follower of someone, or thing, then it stands to reason, that they must be worthy of that honor.
When it comes to worthiness, God, has a record of accomplishments, that no one, or thing, can even hold a candle to.
First and foremost, He created everything in the heavens, and on earth, from absolutely nothing, by speaking them in to existence. Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
How do I know this is true?? Because we, and they are here. But, not only that, the evidence is all around us. Every day, if you take time to consider how every thing works, talking about the heavens, the planets, the stars, how all of them, essentially stay in their own place, and orbits. How all of the animals are designed, and how the organs in their, and our bodies are positioned and function. None of this happened by chance. There had to be some intelligence behind it all.
However, being the type of creatures we [mankind] are, we constantly need proof, in the form of the miraculous to keep our attention. Something out of the ordinary. To man, things get old, fast. You buy a new car today, and by next year, you want the newer model. With God, we do the same thing. He does something miraculous for us today, and not too long after, it is old news. Janet Jackson has a song that asks, 'what have you done for me, lately!!'
As I mentioned earlier, how can people that were present, when God delivered them out of Egypt, then parted the Red Sea for them, turn around, and complain about their condition, in the wilderness??
But, it all comes down to, demonstrating, who has the Power, to deliver us out of all our problems.
The average Christian today, proclaims that Christ is the answer to all of our problems, but, they put more of their faith in government, than God. If God says one thing, and government says something totally different, they will choose government, over God.
Have you noticed the mantra, 'separation of Church and state?' You would be surprised at how many of them, Christians, buy in to this foolishness. Tell me, what part of our lives, can we control, apart from God?? Try zero. I don't care, who promises what, if God doesn't give them the breath to accomplish it, then guess what?? It ain't gonna happen!!
But, God doesn't have to, take their breath away, He will just let their minds go haywire, where they can't see what they are doing.
So, back to our story. Elijah, tells the prophets, they can go first. They can choose the bullock they want, and prepare it, then offer it to their gods. He did this, so that they had no excuses, as to why their gods, failed to answer their request, in the event they failed. More next month.