Your Faith Will Break The Silence Of Others
“And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.” 1 Kings 18:21 NKJV
We are all familiar with the story of Elijah and his showdown on Mt Carmel with the false prophets. But one of the keys to the story, and it’s relevance to your life today, is found in the response made by the people. Here is the situation; King Ahab had led the people of Israel into horrible idolatry. Elijah challenges the King to a spiritual confrontation, a contest between the King’s false gods and the true God of Israel. To heighten the intensity of the event, Elijah instructs the King to bring all of the people of Israel to witness the clash of spiritual supremacy so that they might witness the power of God themselves.
In the verse above Elijah challenges the children of Israel, God’s elect people, to decide for themselves whom they would follow. They could no longer waver between the truth and the lies of the world. Now they must make a choice between God and the world. What is the response of the people? Total silence; they “answered him not a word”. Have you ever felt this way when you visibly stood for the Word of the Lord in your life? People just look at you like they find it hard to believe that you really believe the truth. It is a lonely feeling, but imagine how Elijah felt as he stood all alone in his faith in the Lord and as the people looked on, 850 false prophets standing for the false god of Baal, and Elijah standing alone for the Lord of all.
The false prophets offered their sacrifice and for hours they pled and begged with no results, no supernatural fire consumed the offering, it remained untouched. Then Elijah said to the people “come near to me.” He proceeds to do the unexpected as he pours water on top of the offering, again and again, the very offering that is supposed to be consumed by fire from God. At the time of sacrifice the prophet calls upon the Lord, “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
Fire falls from heaven and consumes the sacrifice, the stones at the altar, the dust and even the water that filled the trenches. This amazed the people of Israel who had watched this contest turn into a fiery demonstration of God’s power and superiority. The next verse demonstrates the effect this had on the assembled masses. It says that they fell on their faces and exclaimed “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!” These same people, who spoke not a word when Elijah asked them if they would follow the world or follow the Lord, finally did speak. The tongues that had been silent spoke loudly after seeing the power of the Lord. They not only spoke, they fell to the ground on their faces.
Today you will have opportunities before you to stand with boldness for the Word, to demonstrate your faith and your relationship with the Lord. You may be reticent due to fear of being labeled nonsensical or even ludicrous. But be bold in your faith and watch how Jesus will move through your faith to do things that change those who are quiet about what they believe into followers who have chosen to follow the Lord and not the world.
J Todd Hostetler