Seldom does God command his people to play it safe. Instead He says befriend the man who once tried to kill your countrymen (Acts 9:11-15). Is God asking you to minister to someone of another faith, move to a more dangerous area of town, or go to a troubled country on a mission trip? Lukewarm Christians not willing to leave their comfort zone, do not grow.
Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today.”
So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”
“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:15-19 NIV)
Elijah boldly confronts Ahab.
I can hear the sarcasm in their voices and see the sparks in in their eyes. It is high noon and this country is too small for the false prophets and the true prophets to coexist. There is going to be a show down with the winner taking all. (It is impossible for a Bible believer to truthfully say all faiths lead to the same god.) Jehovah is calling out the prophets of Baal and Asherah. Baal was the highest deity, represented by a bull. He oversaw all other gods to make sure they provided the people with what they needed such as rain. Asherah was their goddess over new life.
Once again God is giving the people the opportunity to repent. Unfortunately, many will still not put their faith in God. People demand proof (Luke 16:31), but even with the resurrected Jesus, some will refuse to believe (Matthew 28:17).
So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 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. (1 Kings 18:20,21 NIV)
Elijah confronts the lukewarm.
Picture the crowds of people from all over Israel meeting on the Carmel Mountain Range about 30 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. Remember, these people have had no rain in three and a half years. It may have taken them days for the word to go out and the people to gather.
Although their ancestors had been given this promised land of milk and honey. It was barren for they were lukewarm (Revelations 3:16). The people do not declare Jehovah is Lord, for fear of offending the prophets of Baal and the King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. I pray that we know without a doubt that no one has any authority over us, more powerful than God Almighty (Romans 8:35-37).
Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. (1 Kings 18:22)
Elijah defines the battle.
Elijah says that he is the only one of the Lord’s prophets left. This of course is not true, there are at least on hundred other prophets (1 Kings 18:13). Perhaps he is claiming to be the only one to protect the other prophets. I hope it is not his ego, or pride. We will see later that Elijah does feel like he is totally alone (1 Kings 19:14). I hope he is just emphasizing that he is the only prophet acting against the false prophets in this event. God needs no prophet ever; He spoke the world into existence. God is just letting Elijah participate. We need God’s protection and provision. He does not need our help.
Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 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—he is God.”
Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” (1 Kings 18:23, 24 NIV)
God is about to reveal himself once again. God has been revealing Himself since the beginning. Abraham, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Jesus, Peter, and Paul are just a few. Just because you haven’t seen God’s wrath, do not think it will not come (Luke 17:26-30).
For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:20-22 HCSB)
When God reveals Himself, people can not stay ambivalent. They either choose to believe or they deny the truth. They cannot remain lukewarm.
- How has God challenged you to get out of your comfort zone?