“And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice, no one answered, no one paid attention. Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come near to me.’ So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.”
(1 Kings 18:29,30)
“…And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.”
Do you remember this story of Elijah?
The region around Samaria had been experiencing drought for nearly three years. The drought was God’s response to the Israelites’ worship of other gods under the rebellious leadership of King Ahab. King Ahab had built an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal. The children of God were worshiping everything but the One True God – and Baal had become the “Big Kahuna”!
Now Elijah brought them a challenge: Would Baal send rain or would the Lord God send rain?
The prophet Elijah gathered all the children of Israel and the prophets of Baal together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah spoke to them, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” (verse 21)
Elijah challenged Baal’s prophets (450 of them!) to present a burnt offering to Baal, but without lighting the fire themselves. Baal would surely ignite the wood and consume their offering if he was a god to be worshiped, right? And upon receiving the offering, Baal would show his pleasure by sending the rain.
At least that’s what they thought.
For hours, the prophets of Baal cried out to Baal. They worked themselves into a frenzy, leaping upon the altar, dancing around it like a bunch of hooligans, cutting themselves…all for naught.
Then, like a gentle father, Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.” (verse 30)
Elijah prayed, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You ARE the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice…(verses 37,38)
What is the lesson God has for us?
We must come to the conclusion that He, ALONE, is God. We can build altars our whole life long and then worship those things that will never satisfy. We can work ourselves into a frenzy trying to get those gods to respond. We can leap up on the altars, demanding a response from our bank accounts, our refrigerators, our lusts and our fancy toys – all to no avail. For there is only One True God – El Elyon, the Lord Most High is His Name.
Dear one, repair the altar of the Lord that has broken down in your life.
We all experience times of rebellion, times of wandering and drifting away. We build our altars to worship our pain, justifying every piece of brick and mortar placed there by each tear that falls.
But, only the Lord our God can satisfy. Only He can heal your heart, restore your life and meet your needs.
Trust Him. Fall on your knees and worship Him.
Declare Him Lord of your life.
Lord God, You are mighty and worthy to be praised. You Lord, are the One True God. We recognize that and yet…and yet we STILL turn to our man-made gods, our sources of provision and pleasure. Father, forgive us! Forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We lift Your Name on high and worship You, Lord. Thank You for Your love.