08 Jul Recap | Miracles of the Old Testament | Elijah & The Prophets of Baal
This past weekend we looked at 1 Kings 18:1- 40 and the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. This story looks at the nation of Israel during a time of disobedience and idolatry. It is important that we define idolatry as the worshipping of that which is not worthy of our worship. In this story, Israel’s idols were other gods and statues, but there are many types of idols that we worship today. As John Calvin said, “Our hearts are idol factories.” We can turn money, entertainment, family – really anything – into worship. So as we read the story of Israel’s idolatry, let us consider the idolatry we may see in our lives as well.
The story in 1 Kings 18 builds up to show the conflict between God’s prophets and the prophets of false gods. First, the Queen Jezebel, a devotee of the false gods, tried to kill all of God’s prophets. However, God let Obadiah save 100 of the prophets. The second conflict was between King Ahab and Elijah, when because of Ahab’s idolatry and disobedience, rain refused to fall. The final, main conflict we see is between hundreds of the prophets of Baal and Asherha and Elijah.
Beginning in verse 21, Elijah challenges the prophets of the false gods by illustrating how they are wavering between gods, which makes them spiritually weak. Elijah challenges them to call upon their gods, and the prophets worship and call out and dance; yet their gods do not answer. The important thing to see in this story is the false gods CANNOT answer. No matter how hard we work, no matter how much energy and passion we put into our idols, they will not respond. They will not answer us in the way we need. Yet Elijah, as a true prophet to the true God, simply prayed to the Lord. And the Lord, as the one true God, responded.
Elijah doesn’t denounce the false prophets. It is not about self-control or mental stringency. It is about seeing the true God in our lives. We turn from idolatry when we see the greatness of God, which puts the worthlessness of idols into perspective. Idols are defeated when they are seen in comparison to the love and faithfulness of God in our lives. We do not have to hobble or waver between idols and the true God. Through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can come wholly to the Lord. Through His Holy Spirit we are able to live a life of worshipful obedience. Let us worship Him for “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”
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Worship Songs from the Weekend
- You Reign: Psalm 146, Psalm 47:5-9, 1 Chronicles 29:10-20
- Hope Of The World: Romans 5:1-3, Ephesians 2:11-13, Psalm 33:20-22
- Be Thou My Vision: Deuteronomy 4:28-29
- All Creatures of Our God and King: Psalm 66:1, Psalm 148, Luke 19:40
- Holy is the One: Philippians 2:7-11, Isaiah 6:3
- The Greatness of Our God: Deuteronomy 32:1-3, Romans 8:38-39, Isaiah 40:26-31