Pastor's Blog

1 Kings 18:30

Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins.

Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord. That tells me that there had been a time when on this very place people had come to worship Yahweh. There had been a time when people had made the effort to bring an offering to the place, and there sacrifice it to God with a heart that was willing to surrender to and worship God. The fact that there was a broken down altar there tells me that there had been a time when the LORD held a place of preeminence in the hearts of the people of Israel. But that was no longer the case. They were living in a day of compromise. We know that from what Elijah asked the people in verse 21

1 Kings 18:21

Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."

But the people said nothing.

King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, had brought the worship of Baal to Israel. Baal was supposedly a god with power over the rain . . . and storms and lightning . . .There was something about the worship of Baal and his female counterpart that people found attractive to the point that they wanted to worship God when it was convenient and worship Baal when it was convenient. But on this day when Elijah challenges to make a statement of faith – they said nothing.

One of the things that can lead us to a state of compromising our faith in God is the fear of man. The Israelites did not answer Elijah because they were afraid of what Ahab would say and do if they said we are going to follow Yahweh – and they were afraid of what Elijah would do if they said we are going to follow Baal.

Here is what happens when we live in fear of what other people are going to think about us:

The fear of men leads to distrust of God. I distrust God’s power. I distrust His providence. I distrust His grace and His Goodness.

The fear of men puts me in a self-protective mode. I am afraid of losing favor. I am afraid of losing friendships. I am afraid of losing appreciation and approval. I am afraid of making someone angry.

And it can happen to the best of us. We read in the Bible where some of the greatest men of faith had their moments when the fear of man tripped them up. Abraham was afraid he was going to be killed so he asked his wife not tell anyone they were married. Peter was afraid of dying so he told a crowd of people he had never seen this man Jesus.

Fear is not the only thing that will cause us to compromise our faith. But no matter what causes compromise, I believe that the antidote is always the same. Never forsake the altar of God. I need to begin each day with an appearance before the Lord that says Father God I want to surrender who and what I am to you today. I want to do and say the things that please you. Your kingdom and your will are what I want to live for today.

Elijah repaired the altar - the place of prayer – the place of sacrifice . . . and when he prayed fire fell from heaven and consumed the sacrifice . . . altar and all! Lord, let the fire fall!

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Wednesday June 16, 2009   1 Kings 17-18 & Ecclesiastes 3:16-22

Thursday     June 17, 2009   1 Kings 19-20 & Ecclesiastes 4

Friday          June 18, 2009   1 Kings 21-22 & Ecclesiastes 5

Saturday      June 19, 2009   Jonah & Ecclesiastes 6

Sunday        June 20, 2009   Philemon & Ecclesiastes 7:1-14


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