Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 18:16-19:21 / Acts 17:22-18:8 / Psalm 78:17-31
“I see that in every way you are very religious.” (Acts 17:22) Paul spoke those words to the Athenians as he noticed the numerous idols, objects of worship and even an altar inscribed with “To An Unknown God.” (vs. 23) He then told them about the One True God who not only made heaven and earth, but also gave life to all men. When he spoke of Christ’s resurrection, the coming judgment and the need to repent, some sneered, some wanted to hear more and a few believed. But those who did believe became strong followers and witnesses of Christ!
Remarkably, Athens was a godless reflection of Israel during the time of Ahab. Israel had become a very “religious” nation, adding foreign gods while treating the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob like an “unknown god”. Elijah stood against the evils of King Ahab as he introduced Israel to “other gods”, most notably Baal. God desired to turn the hearts of His people back to Him and He used Elijah for that purpose.
Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to sacrifice to their god and pray for him to answer by fire. They frantically called upon Baal and of course there was no response. Elijah stepped forward and prayed, “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)
The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up Elijah’s prepared sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the soil and even licked up the water. (vs.38) God responded to validate Elijah’s message, to display His sovereign power, to defeat Baal and his prophets, and to turn the hearts of the Israelites back to Himself. When the people saw God’s fire, they fell down to the ground and cried, “The Lord – He is God! The Lord – He is God!” (vs.39)
God desires to reveal Himself to a confused and searching world. He is not “another god” but the One and Only God! He manifests Himself in miracles to display His power and presence. Let every unbelieving heart encounter the divine display of God’s fire…and let every lukewarm heart be ignited by the divine conviction of God’s fire! Let God’s glorious fire fall… The Lord – He Is God!