THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2012
THE LORD IS GOD!
Today’s reading: 1 Kings 18:20-39
Today’s reading is about the prophet Elijah and the
prophets of Baal. It is a fascinating account of the contest
between them to show who was the true prophet serving the
true God. There are some lessons for us to learn.
“Elijah appealed to all the people and said, ‘How
long will you straddle the issue? If the Lord is God, follow
him; if Baal, follow him.’ The people, however, did
not answer him.” (1 Kgs 18:21). God through Moses gave
the Israelites a choice, as today He gives all of us the same
choice: life or death, prosperity or doom, blessing or curse
(Dt 30:15-20). Unfortunately, many Christians today straddle
the issue or refuse to give an answer.
does this choice mean?
it is an either-or choice. There are only two choices and
no more. You are either for God or against Him. If you are
not for Him, then you are automatically against Him. This
is where many fail to appreciate the gravity of their non-choice.
They of course have not declared themselves against God, but
if they do not declare themselves for God, then they automatically
belong to the other camp. There is no middle or neutral ground.
people do not place themselves under the protective dominion
of God, then they are left to fend for themselves in a world
under the dominion of the evil one. If people do not actively
obey God, they will end up obeying what is dictated to them
by the world, the flesh and the devil. If they do not do the
work of God that is evangelization, by gathering people back
to God, then they in effect contribute to the continued scattering
of the sheep.
Elijah’s simple choice: If the Lord is God, then follow
What was Elijah’s criterion in the contest? “The
God who answers with fire is God.” (1 Kgs 18:24b). Now
both God and Satan play with fire. God poured out tongues
of fire on the disciples at Pentecost; Satan dwells in the
fires of hell. God’s fire fired up His people, and gave
them passion and zeal to proclaim the good news, and thus
help bring people back to true life; Satan’s fire is
punishment for unrepentant sinners, keeping them in eternal
death. God’s fire is the beginning of all good things;
Satan’s fire is the end for all bad things.
the Baptist said of Jesus: “He will baptize you with
the holy Spirit and fire ..... but the chaff he will burn
with unquenchable fire.” (Mt 3:11c,12c). Jesus baptizes
us with his Holy Spirit in order that we might be His instruments
to proclaim his good news of salvation to all. As such, God’s
fire at Pentecost is to be used by us to “save others
by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 1:23a).
Towards the end of the dramatic contest, Elijah called on
God. “The Lord’s fire came down and consumed the
holocaust, wood, stones, and dust, and it lapped up the water
in the trench.” (1 Kgs 18:38). “For our God is
a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29)!
Lord’s fire consumes the wood that represents idols
in our lives (Jer 10:8b) and yokes we bear (Jer 28:13). It
consumes the stones that weigh us down in life. It consumes
the dust that makes us dirty and litters our surroundings.
It consumes the water that at times overwhelms us and makes
us feel like drowning in troubles, sorrows and oppression.
of all, the Lord’s fire consumes the holocaust, and
blessed are we if we have made ourselves as that offering.
We have to make our choice. For us it can only be God. May
it be for all people as well. May “all the people (fall)
prostrate and (say), ‘The Lord is God! The Lord is God!’”
(1 Kgs 18:39).