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Sunday, September 25, 2011

9/26/11 Choose your God

20 So Ahab sent to all the Israelites, and assembled the prophets at Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, "How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." The people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, "I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets number four hundred fifty. 23 Let two bulls be given to us; let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the LORD; the god who answers by fire is indeed God." All the people answered, "Well spoken!" 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; then call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it." 26 So they took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying, "O Baal, answer us!" But there was no voice, and no answer. They limped about the altar that they had made. 27 At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, "Cry aloud! Surely he is a god; either he is meditating, or he has wandered away, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened." 28 Then they cried aloud and, as was their custom, they cut themselves with swords and lances until the blood gushed out over them. 29 As midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice, no answer, and no response. (1 Kings 18:20-29)

(Elijah's sacrifice on Mt. Carmel William B. Hole d. 1917)

Thoughts: The question Elijah asks is the question asked of us- who do you follow?  It seemed that Baal had won the whole country over.  Elijah appeared to be the only prophet left (later he would found a school of prophets).  He felt he was the only one left in all the land though there were over 7,000 (1 Kgs. 19:18).  The prophets of Baal claimed that their god produced rain and fertility.  Elijah clearly sought to evidence to the people that the Lord (Yahweh) was the God of rain, lightning and drought.  The power of God to answer prayer is still an inspiration to worship Him. 

Prayer: Give me strength and wisdom, O Lord, to trust in your ability to asnwer my prayers.

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