The Greatness of Our God.
By Penny Lee
Have you been wondering the purpose of this Corona virus? I know that we have given it some serious consideration. I have spoken to Jo about it. I know one thing, or may be I should say, I hope one thing - that God has our attention - worldwide.
As I write this I think of the battle at Mount Carmel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Do you remember that story? It’s in 1 Kings 18. King Ahab (king of the northern kingdom - Israel), blamed all the problems of Israel on Elijah. Listen to this conversation: “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” This is how Ahab greeted Elijah! Wow! That’s enough to put a person into a bit of a panic! I think if I were there I would take a step back so I am not standing too close!
Elijah responded with this comment: “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals. Now there, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table. (In case you don’t know or don’t remember, Jezebel is an idolatress who helps pull the king, and the entire nation away from serving the One True God.)
Ahab did what Elijah recommended. Everyone gathered on Mount Carmel. Elijah said the Israel, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” No one said a word. Then Elijah explained that he was the only prophet of God left , (which was more the way he felt, because there were a few other prophets around, but they were in hiding. Elijah is the only one who was courageous enough to pop his head out and let Ahab see him.)
Anyway, it is Elijah against 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. Elijah asked for two bulls - one for the pagan’s prophets and the other for Elijah. Elijah even gives his “opponents” first choice, the bull and allows them to go first.
The prophets of Baal, chose and prepared their animal for sacrifice, set it on the altar and began to cry out to their god. The object of this little lesson is to find out which god is God - who will come and consume the sacrifice by fire. No one was to light the fire - the One who is God will do it Himself.
Nothing happens to the prophets of Baal’s sacrifice. They dance and sing, cry out, and even cut themselves “as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.” (v 28). Unfortunately for them, nothing happened.
When it was Elijah’s turn, he repaired the broken down altar of God. Put the wood on it, then dug a trench around it, prepared the sacrifice, laid it on the altar had the people soak it with water by pouring on the altar 4 times, (approx. 156 quarts of water). There was so much water, that the wood and the sacrifice were soaked, and the water filled the trench. Then, when it was time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah prayed, “LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
“Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD He is God.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the God we serve. This is the God we come together and worship. This is the God who will hear our prayers, Lift up your voice to our God and pray during this time of trial as we are “Safer at Home.” It will all be over in His time. In the mean time, take heart. Remember who our God is; trust Him, keep your eyes on Him and we will get through this joyfully.
This is an incredible story of God’s greatness. You know, one thing I try to keep in mind when I read my Bible, and these amazing stories - it’s true. Every last word is true. We can bank on our God. He really does love us.