Formations Lesson for Sept- 12- Trusting God-s Direction
August 25 2010 by Don Gordon, senior pastor, Yates Baptist Church, Durham

Focal Passages: 1 Kings 18:1, 17-40

There comes a time in life when fundamental choices must be made before anything else can be done.

You decide who you’re going to marry then begin a covenant life. You say “Yes” to a job offer then begin your work.

You tell your family what God you will worship then order your lives accordingly.

Elijah has earned the reputation as a “troubler” of Israel, because he has confronted King Ahab and Queen Jezebel about the nation’s fundamental allegiance.

He has affirmed that Yahweh is the only true God and Baal is not.

He has claimed that Yahweh is the instigator of the multi-year drought because Yahweh, not Baal, is in control of all that sustains life. Confrontation has come to a head.

These fundamental opposing worldviews are going to collide. The collision is going to happen at Mount Carmel.

Elijah singularly takes on 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah. The odds seem overwhelming, but this isn’t a battle between prophets.

It’s a battle between Gods. It’s a battle between Yahweh, the one and only true God and Baal/Asherah, false gods that don’t exist. So the outcome is never in doubt.

That’s why Elijah can taunt his opposing prophets when their god doesn’t send fire down on their sacrifice.

It’s not that he is hard of hearing, on a trip, or perhaps gone to the bathroom (a possible euphemism derived from the word translated “busy”). Baal can’t answer because Baal doesn’t exist.

Then Elijah calls on Yahweh who answers with fire.

The fire is so ferocious it consumes not only the meat on the altar, but the very stones, water, and dirt surrounding the altar. God makes it clear that He has no legitimate rivals.

But that doesn’t mean other gods receive no worship. Ahab and Jezebel wanted to worship both Baal and Yahweh, you know, cover all the bases, “Just in case.”

We may not identify with these wicked Old Testament characters, but do we allow little league baseball to compete with our worship of God? What about soccer for the kids? Leisure for ourselves? 

I had a man in my church whose daughter got married on Saturday. A friend invited him to go fishing on Sunday.

He went and had the best time of his life. But he never went fishing on Sunday again. I asked him, “Why?” He said, “I figured I was confronted with the god of pleasure or the God of creation. And I chose not to serve the god of pleasure.” And for the rest of his life, he kept that promise.

Who is your God?
8/25/2010 5:11:00 AM by Don Gordon, senior pastor, Yates Baptist Church, Durham | with 0 comments

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