1 Kings 18:30-39 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 had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”
34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.
“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the 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. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
Today’s passage is an unbelievable demonstration of GOD’s awesome power. The word “prostrate” in the last sentence stuck out in my mind and it clearly demonstrates how incredible this demonstration was. Those who witnessed it fell flat on their faces. GOD made HIS point in a way that was not just amazing and convincing, it was also terrifying.
But that was then, and this is now. How would people react today to such a demonstration? We actually witness such demonstrates pretty routinely nowadays. If you watch TV or have ever been to a magic show chances are you’ve seen even more astounding demonstrations from the Statute of Liberty being made to vanish, to a man floating on thin air hundreds of feet above the ground with no visible wires or harnesses. I submit that even a demonstration as incredible as the one described in the passage may not receive the attention it so deeply deserves. Remember all of the plagues brought upon Egypt, yet even the effect of losing the first born of an entire nation was only temporary.
So what would it take today to turn the people back to the one true GOD? In his message on Sunday Pastor talked about the terrible drought we’ve been experiencing not unlike the one mentioned in the book of Elijah. He also mentioned people coming together from different congregations and denominations and praying as one church, one people, to one GOD. Perhaps what would catch the attention of the people today is unprecedented warming of the climate on a global scale, extreme weather, or maybe chunks of the polar ice caps as big as New Hampshire breaking off and melting at a frequently alarming rate. Does GOD have your attention yet? What will it take?
The message of this passage is clear. We are not dealing with a Las Vegas magician or master illusionist. We are dealing with the CREATOR of the universe, and HE will stop at nothing to get our attention, not even the life of HIS very own SON. But getting our attention is only part of the deal; a talented magician can do that. GOD’s ultimate goal is to secure our belief and that is a choice HE has always left completely to us. What choice will you make?
HEAVENLY FATHER we come to YOU in complete awe of YOUR incredible power and even more in awe of YOUR awesome love for us. Please open our stubborn heats and minds to YOUR truth and lead us according to the path YOU created for us before we drew our first breath. Enlighten us LORD so that YOU may delight in OUR love and devotion to YOU. In CHRIST'S Name we pray, Amen.