1 Kings 17-18; Psalm 119; Jude

20So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. 21Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

22Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets. 23Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. 24Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.

25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.”

26So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made.

27About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”

28So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. 29They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.

30Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the lord that had been torn down. 31He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, 32and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. 33He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood.

Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”

34After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

36At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O  lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37O  lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O  lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”

38Immediately the fire of the lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The lord—he is God! Yes, the lord is God!” 1 Kings 18:20-39

There is NOTHING weak about God. There is nothing that He can’t do. He is not limited by an earthly body that gets lost in daydreaming, that succumbs to sleep, that needs time to get business done in the bathroom, that goes away and hangs a “be back soon” sign up on the door to heaven. He is everywhere all the time. He sees everything, hears everything, knows everything. He has complete understanding of every moment that every human being – past, present, and future – has ever experienced; He knows every struggle, every temptation, every sin, every sadness and grief, every jealousy, every bitterness, every resentment, every frustration and anger, every love, every joy…

I think sometimes I forget this as day-to-day life tramples over me. When I am feeling out of control, it seems much easier to believe the lies of the enemy instead of Truth. It is easier to make idols of the things around me, looking to others for answers, relying on money to save me, turning to food to comfort me, zoning out in front of the TV thinking that giving my brain a “break” will revive my soul, worshipping my kids (when they’re making good choices and pleasant to be around), and so on.

But, each moment that ticks by, He is calling me back to Himself, calling me by name, choosing me over and over, so that I can know Him. He wants me to know who He is, and who I am in Him. He wants me to experience His love so that fear and hopelessness will be swept away. He wants me to experience His mercy so that condemnation and judgement will vanish. He wants me to experience His grace so that bondage will be replaced by true freedom. He wants me to experience His glory and power, a fire that consumes everything in a flash, so that I will not waver in my belief, so that I will know that He is the only true God, the One who will never leave nor forsake me, who walks beside me in my journey, who provides everything I need to thrive.

Yesappa, Thank You for being my firm foundation, the mountain of strength on which I stand. Thank You for drawing me to You, even in my weakness and shame. Thank You for loving me into who You created me to be and showing me my identity is in You, righteous and holy. Thank You for showing Yourself to me over and over, reminding me of Your goodness, reminding me of who You are. Help me always keep my eyes on you, in the good times and in the struggles of life. Help me always follow You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 1 Kings, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jude, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

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