Scripture Reading — 1 Kings 18:20-39
If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. — 1 Kings 18:21
We are people with a choice. Whom shall we worship as God? The Lord? Our wallets? Our political party’s opinions?
Elijah confronted his people with a choice. Choose the Lord God, or choose King Ahab, his wife Jezebel, and their idol Baal. God had long ago told his people to worship him only (Exodus 20:3-4), but when Ahab married Jezebel, a foreign princess, she introduced the worship of her god, Baal, in Israel. Ahab set up an altar and temple for Baal and “did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him” (1 Kings 16:33). Jezebel began to kill off the Lord’s prophets (1 Kings 18:4), and God had now sent Elijah to put a stop to all this.
It appears the people wanted to worship both Baal and God. But this angered the Lord, and, through Elijah, God asked the people, “How long will you waver between two opinions?”
To that question today someone might respond, “Why choose between two gods? Aren’t they all valid?” But God says, “I am the Lord . . . I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8). Elijah challenged the people to see if an idol would answer them. Baal was silent, but God’s power came through as fire consumed the altar and the water around it. The people exclaimed, “The Lord—he is God!” Do you trust the one and only God as your God?
Lord, we glorify your name because you alone are the true God, worthy of all honor and praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.