When God’s People Go Silent
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. — 1 Kings 18:21
Baal was a foreign god. The Canaanites believed Baal was responsible for the weather. It was believed that sexual rituals in Baal’s temples “aroused” Baal and made him want to produce ideal conditions for agriculture. When the weather produced good crops, prosperity for the people was also produced. Therefore, when the Israelites were introduced to Baal, he was quite attractive. Baal allowed his followers to have sex in his temples and he produced wealth.
In our sex-crazed, money hungry society, we may not call him Baal, but he is still worshipped today. God’s people didn’t replace God completely with Baal. They simply added Baal worship to their God worship. Hence, Elijah’s question: “How long will you waver between two opinions?” In other words “How long will you try to keep your sexual immorality and be pure and consecrated before God?” “How long will you try to serve the almighty dollar and make sure there are no idols being worshipped in your life?” The simple answer, of course, is “you can’t!”
God will not share my affection. I cannot love Him and love money at the same time. I cannot be sexually immoral and pure before a Holy God at the same time. God detests the very idea that one of His children would say they love Him and want Him, but by their actions give themselves to other gods. Of course it detests Him. I wouldn‘t receive my wife‘s affection if she were giving it to another. It reminds me of the movie “Indecent Proposal.” Robert Redford gave Woody Harrelson one million dollars for one night with his wife. Though they tried to work through the infidelity, Woody was crushed. He could no longer receive affection from his wife because she had shared it. Why would God not feel the same way when people who say that they love Him do the same thing?
Think of that one thing that seems to come between you and God. I remember when I wanted my sexual immorality when I was out on dates and then turned around and wanted to be right with God on Sunday. I remember thanking God that I was making more and more money, but never returning a cent. God repeatedly asked: “Adam, when are you going to serve me and me only? Do you trust me? Do you believe I can supply all of your needs according to my riches in Glory?” I was bombarded with questions like these, and what was my response?
Silence. Just like the people in my main verse for today.
I just kept on doing what I wanted to do through the week, all the while thinking that my church attendance on Sunday erased it all. It didn’t. In fact, I got so tired of being convicted that I was forced to make a decision. I talked to my girlfriend at the time and told her we had to stop some things, she broke up with me. I didn’t know it then, but an altar to Baal had just been torn down. I talked with my rock and roll band and let them know I could no longer play with them. I didn’t know it then, but an altar was destroyed. The destruction of these altars freed me to serve God, only God.
So, I guess it all comes down to this: Who or what are you serving? Is it God? Is it some worldly way? Are you trying to have both? Are you separate from the world? Or, do you fit right in? If the answer is not “I serve God, and Him only,” you have a decision to make.
How long will you waver between two opinions? If God is God, serve Him. If money is God, go make a ton of it! If sex is God, make that the central focus of your life. If food, entertainment, drugs, gossip, revenge, fame, or whatever else I am leaving out is God, then get on with serving them, quit playing around. But, by all means stop trying to serve both God and your favorite sin. God does not and will never allow His children to divide their affection between Himself and another. You cannot have Him and your pet sin.
You must choose.
Silence changes nothing.
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