Nestled in the victories and celebrations of 1 Kings 18 are reasons to be bittersweet.
After God won the contest on Mount Carmel, there was a national celebration and surrender. All witnesses realized undoubtedly that the only true god was the God in Heaven. This contest also proved that Baal was powerless. Baal’s prophets were seized and executed in the valley below at Elijah’s command.
As the dust settled and people returned back to their homes, Elijah told King Ahab to eat and celebrate because the rain would soon fall. Even after hundreds of people had died. Did those prophets not matter to the people of Israel?
Scripture is filled with God’s promises. In a balanced manner, presenting both the pros and the cons for a faith rooted in Him, God explains the benefits and pitfalls of our options. If we choose to trust and obey Him, He will protect and care for us. If we opt to live life without God, then He will respect our choice too.
God promises us eternal life in a breathtakingly beautiful Heaven. Yet, there is no equivalent counteroffer from the devil. With nothing to offer us, his intent is to distract us from God, throwing roadblocks and sinkholes into our faith journey. We are pawns the enemy uses in his relentless attempts to claim his power.
When those prophets of Baal died that day, the kingdom of Israel seemed unscathed. With the sacrifice to Baal rejected by their non-existent god, the Israelites chose to immediately acknowledge God and worship Him. There was no time of national mourning. The king didn’t even pause for a moment of silence. Instead, he feasted in anticipation of the end of their three and a half year drought. How quickly those prophets were forgotten.
This story is a reminder to choose life with God. The prophets of Baal dedicated their lives to serving a false god, who was of no benefit to them in the end. The nation barely flinched at their demise.
When we choose to serve God, He will always take care of us. While a life of faith is not a guarantee that all will be easy, God does promise to take care of us, provide of our need, and eternity with Him in Heaven.
Henderson Highway Church