Nested in the history of Israel we find the story of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel. They were an abominable duo who did more to defile the land than any leaders before them.(1 Kings16:33). Their ungodly reign caused the faithful of God to be burdened with the consequences of their idolatry. Jezebel had the prophets of the Lord killed and was desperately seeking to kill the prophet Elijah. (1 King 18:13). Clearly, Ahab and Jezebel were no friends of God or of His people.
Such was the prosecution of the prophets that King Ahab had men hunt nations and kingdoms in search for Elijah to end his life. The Bible recounts of a day when the Lord spoke to Elijah telling him to present himself to King Ahab. How would you like that calling? Here he had been protected of the Lord and know he is being asked to meet Ahab face to face. (1 Kings 18)
Can you picture this great confrontation? The arrogant wicked King sees Elijah and has the audacity to say “O troubler of Israel”. Elijah responds with the boldness of a lion proclaiming Ahab is the trouble- maker because he has forsaken the Word of the Lord and followed the baals. Elijah tells Ahab, gather the people of Israel and the prophets of baal and asherah to Mount Carmel.
Elijah stands before the people and in a proverbial sense DRAWS A LINE IN THE SAND saying:
“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” ().
Now God’s people had not completely stopped following Him. History tells us they tried to follow God and the false gods of the day. Elijah’s words were clear, concise and left no room for interpretation.
The Bible says that after Elijah spoke the people of God answered him not a word.
Elijah than challenges the false prophets saying let’s make sacrifice, you call on your gods and I will call on the name of the Lord. The one who answers by fire HE IS GOD!
Baal didn’t answer then Elijah prepares the sacrifice and prays this powerful and amazing prayer:
"O LORD, 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, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."(1 Kings 18:36-37)
As Elijah finishes his prayer the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the sacrifice down to the wood, stones and the dust. The people of God saw this and fell on their faces saying:
“The LORD, He is God! The Lord He is God!
In an instant they went from faltering between two opinions to proclaiming HE IS GOD, THE LORD HE IS GOD.
GOD’S drawing a line in the sand is not about hate, intolerance, inequity, injustice, unfairness and single mindedness. It’s about LOVE, HIS LOVE for HIS people, plan and purposes.
In His mercy, loving-kindness He revealed Himself in power so that Israel’s heart would turn to Him.
Have the voices of today brought you to falter? Has the accuser of the brethren caused you to doubt? Do you have little strength left?
The Lord is calling‑ rebuild the altar of your broken heart and tell the world:
HE IS GOD, THE LORD HE IS GOD…