In the Old Testament, we find instances where God’s people were asked to make choices.
“Therefore, fear the Lord and worship him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your fathers worshiped and worship the Lord. Choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship – the gods your fathers worshiped in Egypt or the gods of the people in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15 (CSB)
What was the role of the Old Testament prophet? Men like Elijah spoke for the Lord to His people. He presented a clear message calling the people back to God, back to covenant obedience.
When Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to a demonstration of power, his confidence was in the one true God. God and Elijah had a history together!
In I Kings 17, we find stories of God’s provision and protection for Elijah during the years of famine. Because of these experiences and his relationship with God, Elijah was standing on Mt. Carmel (I Kings 18) in complete confidence that God would answer in full power with fire from heaven that day. He knew that false gods, idols were powerless in the presence of the true God.
The people were limping, hobbling as on crutches because they were trying to maintain loyalty to both God and Baal. They were holding on to both – not renouncing their faith in God nor letting go of the idols. God does not tolerate divided loyalty.
“At the time for offering the evening sacrifice, the prophet Elijah approached the altar and said, “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that you are God in Israel and I am your servant, and that at your word I have done all these things. Answer me, Lord! Answer me so that this people will know that you, the Lord, are God and that you have turned their hearts back.”
Results? God showed up in a big way! Yahweh sent fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice and then sent the rains immediately after, proving his superiority over Baal.
Reminder! Think of your personal experiences, your personal history with God.
Remember how He has provided, guided, answered, and shown you that He is the One, True God. His power is still available for us today in whatever current situation you are facing. Give Him 1st place in your heart!