…the false prophets of Baal. sensationalism and emotion vs. the raw, relentless response to the presence of the Lord.
1 Kings 18:26-28 26And they [prophets of Baal] took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they danced around the altar that they had made. 27And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them.
this dramatic attempt to seek “their” god is quite entertaining: dancing around the altar, crying out aloud, cutting themselves. i bring this passage up because i have been praying lately that i don’t ever become a prophet of Baal: acting on my emotions and crying out louder than the church attender beside me to be noticed as “super-spiritual”. there have been times when i have become distracted and been guilty to question the cries and worship of God’s children as we corporately pray and worship. but i simply say, “Lord, You know their heart.” we must check our motives as we seek the Holy One.
1 Kings 18:37-39 37Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”
i love how God showed Himself to be true at the request of the true at heart. Elijah wasn’t creating a spectacle for the Lord to show up. he simply wanted those around him to see that He is the true God and that they might know Him. this request created fire to fall and hearts to be turned toward Him.
i’m not saying that emotion isn’t welcomed by God, because i have definitely had my ugly cries in the presence of the Lord before. but i write this blog post for myself and others to check ourselves when pursuing the Lord. am i crying out to be heard by my pastor and look super spiritual? or to be heard by God with a relentless heart?
1 Kings 19:12 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. in this verse just a chapter after the great fire fall from Heaven scene, the Lord gently whispered. how interesting it is that He wasn’t in the chaos of a fire, but yet was a still, small voice to Elijah.