In 1 Kings 18:20-39, Ahab summoned all the people and the prophets to Mount Carmel because he wanted to persuade them to worship Baal. But Elijah knew that Baal was not really a god and he couldn’t be called upon to help the people. And since the people were completely silent, Elijah decided to show them God’s faithfulness by proposing a simple contest. In the end, Baal failed miserably and God shocked the people with his power and responsiveness. (Read the above referenced passages, if you haven’t already.)
But why did the people fail to take a stand? Why didn’t they decide immediately to follow whoever was the true God? Maybe some were not sure. But many knew that the Lord was God.
Sometimes people want to enjoy sinful pleasure. It isn’t just about the people back in the Old Testament times that followed Ahab in his idolatrous worship. In the current situations we face, it is important to take a stand for the Lord. If we just drift along with whatever is pleasant and easy, we will eventually realize that we have been worshiping the false god of comfort. Being a Christian isn’t about being comfortable all of our lives. There are always trials we must face squarely, leaning on the Lord to give us the strength and courage that we need to get through them. Our life experiences always teach us more about the God that we serve.
Although the prophets of Baal screamed all afternoon, no one answered them. Their god was silent because it was not real. The gods we may be tempted to follow are not idols of wood or stone, but they are just as fake and deceptive because they cause us to depend on something other than God. If we spend our lives chasing power, status, possessions or money, those things can become our gods. But when things get scary and we frantically call out to these gods, there won’t be any answer or guidance.
God sent fire when Elijah called to Him and he will help us accomplish what he requires of us too. We may not see fire come from heaven like Elijah did, but God will make it possible for us to accomplish his purposes. If we remain in His will, He will make a way.