Do you ever wonder what God thinks about what we’re doing? How do you think He feels about how we do church, how we worship, how we love and serve each other, our community and the greater world community? How do you think God feels or thinks about how we’re doing following the examples Jesus gave us, about how to pray, how to love, and how to serve?
Do you suppose he’s amused by our attempts at doing worship in different ways? Does he laugh out loud at our attempts to grow His church? Does he laugh when he sees our television evangelists trying to impress their audience, their attempts to one-up each other, seemingly oblivious to the real Power…the power that doesn’t need a song or a dance to make it authentic, a power that commands the whole universe, a power that’s omnipotent? What do you think?
When you listen to the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal how does it convict your heart? Do you hear the story and think, “We don’t have to worry; our pastor has it all taken care of? No problems here.” Or are you a little worried by the story and wonder if maybe we’re missing something? Maybe we don’t have this God relationship all figured out after all.
Notice how there’s only one prophet for God and there are innumerable prophets for Baal. How many prophets does God have today? How many prophets does the world have today? Who’s more powerful, God or the world?
When Elijah was prophesying for God there was a drought in the land, no rain had fallen for three years. Did you think that last year with no rain that maybe God had turned of the spigot? Did you think that maybe He was trying to get our attention?
If that was the case what about this year with floods and tornadoes and tropical storms? Is He still trying to get our attention?
Are the world’s prophets so loud and boisterous that we can’t hear God’s prophets? Or do we just have blinders on and we don’t see what’s happening on the periphery? How close are we to being like the people of Israel in Elijah’s day? Which prophets are we listening to, which religion do we follow?
Do the gods we pay homage to listen to our petitions? Do they hear our prayers? Do they answer us? Or are they like Baal? Are they asleep or away or have they un-friended us? You don’t pray to Baal. Are you praying to the Lord? Or, aren’t you praying to any god?
Is your church your god? Is your religion your God? Is your denomination your God? What god or gods are we worshiping?
How do we show or demonstrate we believe in God? Is it possible for other people to observe any evidence that we believe in God? What would they see?
Friends, the lesson for us today is about what we believe and how we live out what we believe. Are we different than those who worshiped Baal or do we just have a different ‘Baal?’
Do we need a demonstration of God’s power to bring us back to worshiping him, and only him? What do we need?
In Elijah's time God went to extreme measures to get the people of Israel's attention. When he sent his Son he went to extreme measures to get the people's attention, to demonstrate his love for all humanity. Is God done with his extreme demonstrations?
Friends, if we take nothing else away from the lessons today we should understand how very much God loves us. God cares enough for us to go to extremes for us. And all he asks is that we believe in his Son, our Lord, Jesus.Thanks be to God for his forgiving grace. Amen.
Thanks to Spill the Beans for their thought provoking questions.