Thursday, September 1, 2016

How Long Halt You

Between Two Opinions?

And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 1 Kings 18:21

At this stage in Israel, they are worshiping two gods, Baal and God. They seem to consider them to be the same thing, just a god to worship and some religious rituals to follow. They have forgotten that they are the people of the living God.

This condition is not exclusive to Israel, it is written for our instruction and admonition, because we can be just like Israel. Most Christians today would very vehemently deny that they are worshiping two (or more) gods. And yet, many are certainly halting between two opinions.

Israel’s problem was not that they had completely abandoned God, it is that they had placed God in the same category as Baal. They were going back and forth between the two as if they were the same thing. They had lost the “fear of the Lord,” and forgotten who their God really was.

Proverbs tells us over and over again that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The “fear” of the Lord is a deep reverence for our Lord, which only comes from understanding who He really is. Lack of desire to get to know who our God really is will lead us to the same place Israel found themselves.

Halting between the world and God. Allowing our relationship with God to become just another ritual that we perform in the ritual of our life. It all just seems like the same thing.

Israel had to have a reminder. Elijah reminded them that they did not just serve another god, but that they served the Living God. The only One that can hear and answer our prayers. The One we serve because He really matters.

We do not want to end up like Israel. We need to know who our God is. We need to never forget what He has done for us, and what He does for us every day. Get into God’s Word. It is a great reminder to us. We don’t need to see fire coming down and consuming a sacrifice. God will remind us of the only true sacrifice which too the fire of God’s wrath for us; Jesus Christ.

Elijah put a question to Israel, and I think that same question needs to be answered by each one of us individually. Are you halting (jumping back and forth) between the world and the Lord? What takes priority for you? Do you give equal priority to the things of the world as the things of the Lord?

Gordon Crook