Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
In 1 Kings 18, we see that Israel was at a crossroads. They had lost their awe of God. To them, He was a million miles away. They still claimed to follow Jehovah, but He was no longer a part of their daily lives. God knew that only a vivid reminder of His power would awaken these people from their spiritual sleep. So God used Elijah to bring about a turning point in their lives. With the odds stacked against him—one man standing against hundreds of pagan leaders—Elijah showed the strength of God.
In 1 Kings 18:22-39, the people watched a strange competition. Two bull sacrifices on two separate piles of firewood. Who would be able to supernaturally light the fire—Baal or God? Elijah, in full confidence of God’s faithfulness, watched as the 450 pagan prophets tried to arouse their false god from his slumber. For hours and hours, the pagans danced around the altar, cried out to Baal, and even cut themselves with swords.
Then Elijah stepped forward. Elijah looked at God’s altar, which had been neglected by the people, and carefully repaired it with 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Then he drenched the firewood with water to show that what was about to happen would be a miracle from God and not a trick on his part. As God set that wood ablaze, the people of Israel finally came to their senses. “When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!'” (1 Kings 18:39).
We have the resurrection power of Jesus Christ to build a fire within us, to cleanse and purify us. When we face a crossroads in our spiritual walk, we can always turn to God for the right direction.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Elijah’s courage to stand up against the pagan leaders. I pray that You would help me to make the right choice when faced with a crossroads. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).