“If the LORD is God,” 1 Kings 18:21
Boy, our reading today starts off with a BANG! I have always loved this story, but I can’t say that I’ve ever noticed this flavor running through it before. This flavor of God proving Himself to His people:
“Behold, I will give it into your hand this day, and you shall know that I am the LORD.” 1 Kings 20:13
“I will give this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.” 1 Kings 20:28
And even in the end of yesterday’s reading, “Now I know that you are a man of god, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.” 1 Kings 17:24
Well, today’s reading starts off with Elijah confronting the people of Israel with their idolatry and unbelief.
“How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.” 1 Kings 18:21
It’s such a simple straightforward statement that makes so much sense. We’ll set up two sacrifices and whichever god accepts them is God. Whoever proves himself to be a god is our God. Simple. And then for HOURS the prophets of Baal try to rouse his fire with zero results. Then its Elijah’s turn; he re-builds the altar with twelve stones and he douses the sacrifice with twelve jars of water, one for each tribe.
Have you ever questioned if God is really there, is He really listening to me, does He really care about me? How can we know for certain? You’re not alone!
Abraham questioned God:
“O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” Genesis 15:8
Gideon questioned Him:
“If now I have found favor in Your eyes, then show me a sign that it is You who speaks with me.” Judges 6:17
And then again in Judges 6:36-40:
“Then Gideon said to God, ‘If You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said [if You will do what You’ve told me You would do], behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.’ And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl of water. Then Gideon said to God, ‘Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.’ And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.”
So here we have Elijah before all the people of Israel who have been worshiping Baal and Elijah calls out to God, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel [in case there was any confusion of who he was talking about], let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their hearts back.” 1 Kings 18:36-37
This prayer, I must admit, is the prayer of my heart today. “Lord, prove not only that You are God, but that I am Yours. Prove to these people around me and reading this that I am from You and that I don’t just write these things out of my own volition… prove it to me, Lord. I am Yours. Answer my many prayers that have been spoken in faith that You are God, that You do save and that You do heal. Help me to wait in faith that You have heard, that You will save and that You will heal. Help me to discipline my mind to believe Your word over what my eyes see around me and my ears hear! Help me to be like Elijah who didn’t let six reports of clear skies stop him from believing You were bringing the rain. You were with him and You are equally with me. Lord I believe, help me with my unbelief!
Lord, You taught me today that unbelief only comes out through fasting and prayer. You also taught me that like the Samaritan woman at the well, when You call me to ‘give You a drink’ it is because I should really be asking You for one. Thank You for pointing me in the direction of You, the Living Water, flowing in and through me. Lord, I thank You that You don’t ask anything of us, that You Yourself are not prepared to do for us! You don’t tell us to jump without lifting us over the hurdle as we go…when we ask.
Lord, we’re asking today for the supernatural supply we need to fulfill our callings. We are asking You Lord to lift us over this mountain staring us in the face. You are God, not if You are, You ARE God. You are MY God. My God in whom I trust. I trust You to be the Good Shepherd You say You are. I trust You to be the good Father You say You are. And I trust You to be the good Provider You say You are. Simply because You have proven Yourself trustworthy to me. You have proven Yourself faithful to me, time and time again. Help me to believe Your truth when everything around me lies. Help me to cling to the truth of Your word as the Enemy is doing everything in his power to wrench it from my hands. Father God, protect us from the wolves in sheep’s clothing, from the prophet’s who lie and tell us they’re from You when they’re not! Help us to discern who is truly from You and who is not. Jesus help us! We need You NOW! We need You HERE, with us in the midst of this storm. Please reach out Your voice and say ‘Peace; Be Still!’ Calm the turmoil in our souls! Cling to us when we have no strength left to cling to You. Lord, I know You do all these things anyway, but Your word says we have not because we ask not, so we’re asking, just in case!
Lord, thank You for being with us, for hearing and for answering our prayers. Give us strength as we wait upon You!
This reading has been an excerpt from Tamar’s book Waiting…, if you would like to read more it is available HERE in multiple formats.
That is my prayer, too! Amen 🙂