Ahab had looked high and low for Elijah, but when God told Elijah to do so, Elijah went to him. “When Ahab saw him, he exclaimed, ‘So, is it really you, you troublemaker of Israel?’” (I Kings 18:17, NLT).
“‘I have made no trouble for Israel,’ Elijah replied. ‘You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead. Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel” (I Kings 18:18-19).
This was a David-and-Goliath challenge. Elijah dared to pit himself against “the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah.” Why? Because he knew he was in the majority. If you look over in Second Kings, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
The entire Aramean army was after the prophet Elisha when he and his servant were holed up in Dothan. “When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. ‘Oh, sir, what will we do now?’ the young man cried to Elisha. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ Elisha told him. ‘For there are more on our side than on theirs!’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!’ The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire” (II Kings 6:15-17).
Child of God, don’t ever forget you’re on the winning side. No matter what trouble surrounds you, the mighty host of heaven stands between you and whatever you’re facing. Open your spiritual eyes and believe the great things the Lord is going to do on your behalf. Just as he did for Elisha. And Elijah.
“So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, ‘How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent” (I Kings 18:20-21).
Herein we see one of the most powerful questions in the Bible? “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions?” Folks, there is no gray area. There is no proverbial fence to straddle. You’re either for God or against Him. As Elijah so clearly stated the options, “If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” As Jesus taught in Matthew 6:24a, life is about choices: “No one can serve two masters.”
Which reminds me of the bride and groom at the altar. The minister had just pronounced the happy couple “husband and wife,” and the groom had proudly kissed his bride. As they turned to the well-wishers, the wife said, “Before we go into the reception, there’s a teeny something I need to mention.”
The two found a quiet hallway and the beautifully dressed bride gazed up into her loving husband’s eyes. “About this faithful thing,” she said, still smiling brightly and holding her groom’s hands tightly. “I plan to do exactly what I said I’d do – be faithful, that is. Except for Fridays. I’d like those off as sort of a free day. I’m sure you understand.”
But the bridegroom didn’t understand. He walked away, devastated that the marriage he’d hoped to build with the one he loved was never going to happen. Everything his bride had vowed in front of all those witnesses had been nothing but a lie.
Partial faithfulness is unfaithfulness. We are to be as devoted to Jesus Christ as He was and is to us. “If the Lord is God, follow Him!” Wholeheartedly. Daily. Forever.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates