Alex Enabnit – Programming Coordinator
After Israel’s dramatic split into two, the Northern and Southern kingdoms (Israel and Judah) were run by a series of evil kings. In today’s message, Cal walked us through God’s response to Israel’s most nefarious kings, Ahab.
Throughout the 208 years that Israel was divided, God sent messengers, known as “prophets” to give warnings to God’s people. One of the most famous confrontations came from the Prophet Elijah towards King Ahab for idol worship. Elijah set up a “duel” of sorts between God and Baal, telling the Baal worshippers to build an altar and prepare a bull for it, but not to set fire to it. Elijah did the same. Then, the altar that miraculously lit on fire would prove which god is God.
The Baals went first. Despite going as far as to cut themselves to prove their sincerity, there was no response from Baal and certainly no fire. Then Elijah went, said a simple prayer, and the offering practically exploded with flames, despite even being doused in gallons of water! After that display, Israel understood who was really God.
Thank goodness we don’t struggle with idol worship in America, right? Hmm… In the 17th century a Puritan Preacher named David Clarkson came up with a series of questions that can be used to help us identify if we actually do worship idols in our hearts. Here they are:
- What are you most disappointed with right now? (or, what do you complain about the most?)
- What do you sacrifice your time and money for?
- What do you worry about?
- Where do you go when you get hurt?
- What makes you mad?
- What brings you the most joy?
- Whose applause do you long for?
If you really do believe the Lord is God… follow Him! Who – or what – are you following?
Verses and quotes from the message:
2 Chronicles 36:15; 1 Kings 14:22-24; 1 Kings 14:7-9; Exodus 20:3; 1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 18:17-39
Big Idea: God, because he loves you, will often withhold from you the very thing you long for most–until it finds its proper place.
Angels We Have Heard on High – Chris Tomlin
This is Amazing Grace – Phil Wickham
Cornerstone – Hillsong