Baal who?

On my last devotional, I left off when the Lord sent Elijah his provisions via raven.  I want to fast forward now three years into the future.  Elijah is back and tells Obadiah to tell th king he was back out of hiding.  Obadiah did not want to tell the king because he feared Elijah would run off and he would be killed.  Elijah then gave him his word that he would see the king this very day.  So Obadiah went off and informed the king.

When Elijah sees the king he tells him to get his 450 prophets of Baal and for once and for all see who the one true God was.  Elijah told them to gather two bulls, one to be sacrificed to Baal and one to be sacrificed to the Lord of Israel.  They were to quarter the bulls and lay them on wood and not light them on fire.  They were to call out to their gods and see who would respond to them.  In 1 Kings 26-28, the prophets of Baal sacrificed their bull and were screaming and dancing asking Baal to light the fire.  They went on and on until Elijah started to mock them.  The servants of Baal then started to cut themselves until they were bleeding bad and got louder.  Still nothing happened.  

Elijah then went over to the altar of the Lord that was torn down.  He then raised 12 stones, one for each tribe of Israel.  Elijah then called upon the Lord and this happened.

1 Kings 18:36-39

As the time for the evening offering arrived, Elijah the prophet approached and said, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I, your servant, have done all of this in obedience to your word. 37  Answer me, LORD! Answer me so that this people may know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning back their hearts again.” 38  Right then the LORD’s fire fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, the dust, and even the water that was in the trench! 39  When all the people saw what had happened, they fell flat on their faces and cried out “The LORD is God! The LORD is God!”

Elijah was confident that the Lord would come through for him.  He even had the people fill up four jars of water and put it over the wood three different time after digging around the wood so the water could not escape.  He wanted the worshipers of Baal see that our God would go the extra mile to show them He is real.

There are some major lessons to be learned from this portion of scripture I shared with everyone today. First, just like the Lord flashed the fire for Elijah he will help us accomplish what He calls us out to do.  God may not make a dramatic boom like He did Elijah, but He will provide the resources needed to accomplish His purpose for us.  

Secondly, so many of the Jews knew the God of Israel was the one true God, but chose to follow Baal.  They did this to follow their own sinful pleasures instead of following God.  Remember just because something is easy and gives you temporary pleasures does not mean they are good.  These temptations are used by the devil to turn our hearts away from God and every time we do, satan wins a little more power and influence in our lives.  Protect yourself by serving God and God alone.  

Lastly, the prophets of Baal were worshiping nothing real.  It was just sticks and stones with no real power to do anything.  Even though these sticks were powerless they were dangerous because people were relying on them instead of the Lord.  You may not be worshiping Baal, but you may be obsessed with power, status, appearance or material things.  But just like Baal, if you call out to these things there will be only silence and you will be left looking like a fool in the end.  They don’t give you answers to meaningful questions or give you wisdom when you need it.  

Do not end up spiritually dead like the 450 prophets of Baal did.  They all died because of their choice to follow false gods.  So if you are having a hard time with your Baal, just say “Baal who?”  Remember this scripture I went over with everyone today.  Remember that your Baal is a false god and take a deep breath.  Then pray to the Lord and remember it is Him who you should be seeking.  Not your personal satisfaction, but eternal love and life that can only come through Jesus Christ.  I pray that everyone is having a blessed day today and goodnight.  

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