Week 11 Day 1 Devotions
Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD
is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing. 1Kings 18:21
There comes a time in the life of the individual, the family and hopefully even the nation when a decision has to be made regarding this issue: “Who will we serve?” Who will we look to for guidance, what model will we look to as we seek to find a solution to the current crisis? Perhaps the question is more plainly put like this: “Who will we obey?”
In the text before us today it is “people from all over Israel” who have been summoned to Mount Carmel. The nation has been in the grip of a drought for more than three years, a drought which had been sent by God in response to Ahab's many sins which included setting up an altar to Baal, worshipping him and encouraging the Israelites to do the same. So there is a sense in which the words in our text are spoken to the nation but they are spoken to each individual person as well: “Choose who you will follow.”
Archaeological excavations from that period indicate that many homes were involved in both the worship of Yahweh (The LORD) and of Baal. People followed their leader and there are indications that even child sacrifice was taking place as people desperately tried to encourage Baal to send rain so that fertility could return to the fields! It is into such a situation that the prophet Elijah calls on the people to make a choice.
Wesley's comments on this verse are as follows: “Why do you walk so lamely and unevenly, being so unsteady in your opinions and practices, and doubting whether it is better to worship God or Baal? If the Lord, whom you pretend to worship, follow Him. Worship him, and him only, and that in such place and manner as he hath commanded you. If Baal can prove himself to be the true God, then follow him.”
But the people said nothing. The history of the world shows over and over again how worshippers of the Lord sometimes find themselves wavering between full commitment to Him and commitment to other ideals, values or principles which are contrary to the revealed way of the Lord. On another occasion, Joshua addressed the nation and said these words to them: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Why not start today with the same commitment?
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.