Day 17: Serving God in a Pagan World

Then Elijah said to them, "I am the only one of the LORD's prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us... 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."

I Kings 18:22-24, NIV 


Here is the setting: Israel has a wicked king and has abandoned the worship of the LORD for the worship of man made idols. It is a land of political correctness where even the mention of the LORD will get you in trouble. So Elijah and the other followers of God have been in hiding. Now Elijah comes out of hiding - not to beg the powers that be for the right to worship - but to present a challenge to the entire political and religious structure of a nation that had gone over to Satan.


And he proposes a contest. Two alters complete with wood and bulls will be set up. He will call upon the LORD to light the fire for the offering, and the four hundred and fifty pagan prophets of Baal will do the same for Baal. The God who answers is God. The people like the contest and enter into it with gusto.


The prophets of Baal spend the morning crying out to a block of stone that cannot hear them. They pray, they scream, they cut themselves with swords and spears until their blood flows - but to no avail. Baal is not God - he is a made up symbol of the nation's political correctness and devotion to the flesh.


Then Elijah takes his turn. He makes the challenge more difficult by ordering water to be poured onto the wood and bull of the LORD's sacrifice. Then, he prayed. God's answer was as immediate as it was powerful. Fire came from heaven that licked op the water, set an inferno of the wet wood, and consumed the bull along with the very stones of the alter.


And the crowd went wild!


Then Elijah did something that should have been done years earlier: He ordered the blasphemous priests of Baal put to death. And the people obeyed!


How do you go from a pagan nation to one who rejects their sin and serves God?


You take a stand!


Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, "Whom shall I send? And whom will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I, send me!"

Isaiah 6:8, NIV


Today is the 17th day of the 30 day challenge to read through the books of the champions and the kings, with I Kings 16-22 being the reading for today. May God richly bless you as you seek to serve both He and His Son!