The God Who Answers
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 135:1-7 | 1 Kings 18:1-46 | Acts 11:1-30 | Proverbs 17:12-13
Today’s Scripture Focus: 1 Kings 18:1-46
“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21 TNIV).
“LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” (36-37 TNIV).
His bold faith brought him to a dangerous place. Elijah took on King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. He called them to reject Baal worship for the living God. He challenged them to a “duel” where the true God would answer by sending fire.
The prophets of Baal did everything they could to get their god’s attention. Louder, even louder, they cried. Then they took desperate measures, even cutting themselves to try to gain Baal’s attention. But there was only silence. “But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.” (29)
Elijah rebuilt the altar of the LORD. He placed the sacrifice on the altar and then to make it harder, he had them pour water–lots of water–on the sacrifice. Then he prayed.
This time, there was an answer. The living God showed himself to be a God who hears and answers prayer. He answered by fire, consuming the sacrifice.
We often find it convenient to worship other gods—often gods of our own making or imaginations. These gods bring us some pleasure or satisfaction, but in the end they cannot save—they bring no real hope. When we really need someone to be there, someone to answer, we are left with silence.
How good it is to know that there is a God we can always turn to, one who always listens. He is able to save us no matter where we find ourselves. It is time to stop wavering between false gods and the living God. It is time to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the one who loves us and hears and answers our prayers.
God, give us the faith of Elijah. Help us to stand bold and strong for you. May our prayers be as powerful and effective as Elijah’s. Amen.