I Kings 18:21 NKJV
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.
Elijah is speaking to Israel here and theologians say Israel is a type and shadow of the church. It is not hard for me to see the modern day church in this chapter…and the seeing makes me tremble.
When God called Abram He did a new thing. Man loved to worship his gods – plural – and God was calling on this man to commit himself and his children to worship one God and only one God – Himself. Obviously, Abraham’s children failed to continue as they had been taught; it didn’t take long for them to do exactly as God had predicted (when He spoke with them before sending them on into Canaan), to turn after other gods and worship them.
Of course, Israel wanted to have it both ways. They wanted to have all of the benefits of serving God, but they also wanted freedom to serve the other gods they’d taken a liking to…even one called Molech, to whom they sacrificed their children. God, obviously, was not pleased.
Nor is God pleased today when we choose to serve other gods. They may not go by the names Baal and Molech, but they are here and we serve them. Yes, it’s been said time and again, perhaps so often that the hearers now roll their eyes and refuse to listen, but it is true – anything that has a higher priority in our lives than God does is a god. Be it money, work, children, baseball…whatever…if it draws me away from God (big G), then it has become my god (little g) and He says, “I will have no other gods before me.” In this chapter of I Kings it is only the prophets of Baal that pay the penalty, but the whole nation eventually paid by being cast out of their own country, taken into Babylon in captivity and scattered all over the world. How much more accountable are we, who have the potential for a relationship with God that they could only dream of?