Friday, February 24, 2006


Elijah's Showdown

Elijah’s meeting of the gods has all the qualities of a great Superbowl game. The sides don’t appear even as Elijah’s God and the four hundred fifty Baal prophets line up on the field. “And Elijah came unto all the [fans], and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him, but if Baal then follow him.’ And the [fans] answered him not a word.” 1 Kings 18:21

The fans are torn on whom to cheer for. So Elijah explains the game. Those 450 guys over there are gonna build an altar, and I, alone, will build another. But nobody lights a match, see; we’ll let the supernatural realm of God or Baal do the kickoff. The terms were agreed upon. But don’t forget, the Israelites know the stats…don’t you think they might already be picking their team?

The 450 win the coin toss. For an entire day, Baal’s team tried to score. There were injuries as they sacrificed some of their blood, using knives. You could say Elijah started some trash talk, “Call a little louder, maybe he is asleep, or perhaps he went on a journey!” But alas, the silence was deafening.
And so, the 450 punt. Elijah, alone, made his altar of twelve stones, for a picture of Israel’s twelve tribes. Then he decides playing with a handicap might be fun. The fans are always intrigued by a quarterback with a broken thumb! So Elijah digs a ditch around the altar and fills it with water! Oh, why not? Drench the bullock! Arrogant? It would appear. Confidence does that sometimes. This is a moment of Superbowl proportion! You had better be confident in something!
“Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel,” Elijah prays, “let it be know this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.”
The prayer isn’t simply for a victory. Anybody can win a game! All it takes is one interception…one fumble…one fluke. Elijah is praying for an about face for his people. “Look people, this is the God I have placed all my confidence in. He is the God who is there.”

Don’t you wish all prayers were answered this way…that all victories were this dynamic? There was fire all right. The energy from God consumed the sacrifice, the altar, and every last drop of the water. Gone. Seven thousand people fell to the ground in stunned humility and worshipped, “The Lord He is God.” God was there. They saw Him at His finest, when there could be no doubt. It was a setup. What was there to be confused about? God’s team, Elijah, alone, won. This man rode to heaven in God’s chariot of fire! He did not die, never separated from his body, like Enoch.

So how’s your showdown? Who do I want to live for? Me? Self-satisfaction? Or God and His victorious glory? Look for Him…He is raining fire for His servants, be it a championship event or on the treadmill of life.

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