Friday, February 22, 2019

Fire from the Lord

Today's Reading:
1 Kings 18:1-46
2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11
Psalm 94:12-23
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Focus Verses: 1 Kings 18:36-39
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, 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, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O 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!" 

King Ahab was so wrongheaded in his religious beliefs that he blamed Elijah for his problems. Elijah was uncompromisingly faithful to the God of Abraham, but King Ahab saw this as stubborn and narrow-minded. Ahab was religiously pluralistic and thought it made more sense to embrace more gods in more ways. Elijah's condemnation of Baal worship and his insistence that there was only one God ran in direct conflict with Ahab's pantheism.

The confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel was the collision of opposing worldviews. Faith in the one true God, the God of Abraham, won the day.

Response and Action:
Truth is, by nature, exclusive. Conflicting claims to truth cannot stand unchallenged and untested. I need to give careful scrutiny to all truth claims. I need to think through my reasons for believing the things I believe. I need to be thorough as I determine my reasons for considering one claim to be true and others to be false.

Both reason and experience factor into this evaluation process. I need to consider who is making the claim, why are they making it. I must be conscientious about my basis for doubting or believing these claims. I must also be honest about whether or not truth claims resonate with my life experiences, the experiences of others, and the testimony of history.

O God, help me to recognize what is true and what is false. Confirm my faith in you through your Word, through your people, through my life experiences, through the testimony of others, and through sound reasoning. Protect me from deception and doubt. Increase my faith and show yourself to be powerful and true in all things. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 2 Peter 1:20-21
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Faith AND Doubt
by John Ortberg

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