If The Lord Is God, Follow Him!

Choose You This Day Whom You Will Serve!

“And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him. But the people answered him not a word” (1 Kings 18:21).

It was a time of great apostasy in Samaria, the northern kingdom of Israel. Ahab, the king, did not follow the Lord and did evil in the sight of the Lord along with his wife Jezebel. She had massacred many of the prophets of the Lord, and Baal worship was flourishing drawing the people away from the Lord.

Elijah stood alone against some 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. He came to the people, as our introductory verse states, and called them out to challenge their apostasy and to call them back to the one true God.

Elijah proposed that they offer a sacrifice on Mount Carmel with the prophets of Baal calling on their God and Elijah calling on the Lord God. And Elijah said, “The God who answers by fire, He is God.” The prophets of Baal cried out to Baal from morning until noon with no answer. At noon Elijah began to mock them saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” The prophets of Baal continued to cry out until the time of the evening sacrifice (3 PM); cutting themselves with blood gushing out of their wounds. The Bible says that after all this “There was no voice no one answered, no one paid attention.”

Elijah then told the people to come near to him, and the Bible said he “repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down”. This is how bad it had gotten that the altar of the Lord was in disrepair. “And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the twelve tribes of the sons of Jacob, and built an altar in the Name of the Lord. He dug a trench around the altar, placed the wood on it, and cut the bull in pieces.” Elijah then had the people pour water over the sacrifice and the wood. He had them do this three times with the water drenching the altar and filling the trench around the altar. Then, at the time of the evening sacrifice, Elijah cried out to the Lord. He said:

“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” (1 Kings 18:36,37).

The fire of the Lord fell and consumed the sacrifice along with “the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.” The people, after seeing the Lord answer with fire, fell on their faces and said “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God.” Elijah had them seize the prophets of Baal, and they were all executed at the Brook Kishon.

Israel had a special relationship with the Lord. At that time, all the surrounding nations served false gods or idols. They were the only people on earth that served the Lord God. At the time of Elijah, they had joined the surrounding nations in idol worship. The Lord, in His mercy, sent Elijah to call them back to Himself.

The Lord answered with fire at 3 o’clock, the time of the evening sacrifice. This is the same time of day some 900 years later that the Son of God died on a cruel cross to pay the sin debt for mankind. The Old Testament sacrifices all represented and pointed to the One that would come as the Savior of mankind. The fire the Lord sent from Heaven to consume the sacrifice at the time of Elijah was an incredible display from the Lord and the people fell on their faces turning back to the Lord.

The Lord’s sacrifice at Calvary should have the same effect on all those that hear the Good News. We all must choose whether we will serve the Lord or “Baal” today. If we do not turn to the Lord after His coming and dying for us, then we are going a false way and serving a false god. Just as there was only one sacrifice that was acceptable to the Lord at the time of Elijah, there is only one sacrifice acceptable to the Lord now. It is Christ and Him crucified.

We have a choice to make in this life. We can go the way of the Lord and be saved, or we can go any other way and end up lost, serving a false god like some of the children of Israel and the prophets of Baal. If we are not serving the Lord; we are going a false way and serving a false god. After all, the Bible tells us that Satan is the “god of this world” and has most in the world deceived. In the following verse, the Apostle Paul uses very strong language explaining the state of those outside of the Lord’s mercy and grace and his desire that they escape the snare of the Devil :

And that they (anyone who does not have their faith in Christ crucified)) may recover themselves (escape) out of the snare (a carefully laid trap) of the devil, who are taken captive (prisoners) by him at his will (helpless against Satan)” (2 Timothy 3:26 with commentary).

We have a sin nature or a fallen nature that was passed down to us from Adam. Jesus came and died for our sins to free us to live a life of victory through faith in His sacrificial work at the cross. We cannot free ourselves and there is no neutral ground. We must make a decision. John 3:18 says, “He who believes not is condemned already, because he has believed not in the Name of the Only Begotten Son of God.”

We’ll close with the words of Joshua who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. He had the following to say regarding the choice we all must make:

“….Choose you this day whom you will serve……but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Always Remember,

God Loves You!

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Here I Am, Lord – Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2022

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