Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Troublemaker


The moment Ahab saw Elijah he said, “So it’s you, old troublemaker!”
“It’s not I who has caused trouble in Israel,” said Elijah, “but you and your government—you’ve dumped God’s ways and commands and run off after the local gods, the Baals. Here’s what I want you to do: Assemble everyone in Israel at Mount Carmel. And make sure that the special pets of Jezebel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of the local gods, the Baals, and the four hundred prophets of the whore goddess Asherah, are there.”So Ahab summoned everyone in Israel, particularly the prophets, to Mount Carmel.Elijah challenged the people: “How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow him; if it’s Baal, follow him. Make up your minds!”Nobody said a word; nobody made a move.Then Elijah said, “I’m the only prophet of God left in Israel; and there are 450 prophets of Baal. Let the Baal prophets bring up two oxen; let them pick one, butcher it, and lay it out on an altar on firewood—but don’t ignite it. I’ll take the other ox, cut it up, and lay it on the wood. But neither will I light the fire. Then you pray to your gods and I’ll pray to God. The god who answers with fire will prove to be, in fact, God.”All the people agreed: “A good plan—do it!”1 Kings 18:18-24
If you made it through the reading, wonderful! You probably want to know what happened. Long story short ...wait ... I'll get to that later, as I need to type what's in my head before there's nothin' in my noggin.

So we have Elijah, the troublemaker (how I love that!), only prophet of God left in Israel versus the followers of Baal in an out-and-out oxen offering duel.  The troublemaker asks people to make up their minds - God or Baal - for there can only be one true God. 

Perhaps I'll be a bit of a troublemaker and ask you this: Which god do you serve? Do you serve the god of STUFF, whether it's the latest gadgets, the best gaming system, the prettiest shoes, or even hoarding food? Or do you serve the god of MONEY, working long hours to make more money to save more money - or to have more money with which to serve the god of STUFF? Perhaps you serve the god of ME, only thinking about yourself, only wanting for yourself or the god of ATTENTION or RECOGNITION, not feeling good about yourself unless you're being noticed and praised. Or do you serve God? You cannot serve both one of these gods and the one true God. 

Are you awaiting the stuff of Christmas? The monetary gifts? The attention you'll get from giving a great gift or the recognition you'll get from preparing a delicious meal? Or are you awaiting God? 

Meanwhile in Israel...
They set up two altars. The Baal-followers, no matter how hard they prayed, failed. Then... 
When it was time for the sacrifice to be offered, Elijah the prophet came up and prayed, “O God, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make it known right now that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I’m doing what I’m doing under your orders. Answer me, God; O answer me and reveal to this people that you are God, the true God, and that you are giving these people another chance at repentance.”  Immediately the fire of God fell and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench. All the people saw it happen and fell on their faces in awed worship, exclaiming, “God is the true God! God is the true God!” 1 Kings 18:36-39
Will you exclaim, "God is the true God!" and prepare your heart to adore Him? 


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