We are living in a time in which the world around us is searching for answers but also searching for the truth. Many want to see clear evidence of a matter so that their thirst for understanding and even a rational conclusion is grasped. There is a popular idiom or phrase that has been used for quite some time. The phrase, ‘Show me the money’ is used to denote one of two things.
It can suggest to the person in question that a payment of some sort is requested, but it can also mean that there is a request to be shown evidence. It is the question of evidence that many are looking for. Whether it be evidence of what their politician promises to do once sworn into public office. Or the evidence that one’s life can be turned from tragedy or misfortune into positivity and blessings. For many, the constant quest to prove the evidence of God’s existence is still at the forefront of their mind.
However, despite what the world looks to for its evidence, God shows us what is the truth and what is a lie. Looking to God who is the one who holds everything in place is where you and I should find the answer to life’s questions. In the book of 1 Kings chapter 18, there is a passage of scripture which will help us to see that God is indeed the one and true God.
In this chapter, Elijah who is a prophet of God was sent to King Ahab to deliver an important message to him. In verses 1-16, Elijah meets a man by the name of Obadiah who is King Ahab’s house manager. Throughout these 16 verses, Elijah and Obadiah have an exchange of words which later results in Elijah meeting with King Ahab. A few of the important verses to focus on are verses 18 and 19 in which King Ahab and Elijah finally meet.
(NKJV) “Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals. Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
It is important to note that in verse 2 of 1 Kings chapter 18 Samaria which is located in Israel experienced a drought. Throughout the Bible, droughts were signs of God’s judgment against a particular nation or group of people. Such judgment was the result of sin within the land. There was idolatry that occurred throughout the land of Israel which Elijah eludes to in verses 18 and 19.
He uses the term ‘Baal’s’ which signifies idol worship. Baal was the main god that the Canaanites worshiped in the Old Testament. However, Elijah says that King Ahab has committed idolatry by worshiping false gods. In the next few verses, Elijah then asks to meet with the children of Israel at Mount Carmel. The children of Israel were guilty of following Baal which was idol worship.
(NKJV) “So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.”
(NKJV) “Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.”
So essentially, Elijah wanted to prove that the Lord God was indeed the true God compared to the Baal’s that were the false gods. It is important to note that even in our society today there are many who are serving false gods. Whether it be the god of money, clothing, or even erecting other humans as gods, idolatry has run rampant in our world. However, these things mentioned are considered to be false gods because they are illegitimate or non-functioning.
However, the Lord God is everlasting and living compared to other idols that exist in our world. For centuries, even those of other religions have created statues and images which were then worshiped as if they were living and able to breathe. However, notice what happens in verse 26:
(NKJV) “So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.”
In verse 27, Elijah mocks them by saying that their god must be asleep or he is busy because it seemed the more the individuals cried out to their god the more silence and inactivity there was. In verse 28, it became so much of an issue that the people who worshiped and called out to their god began to cut themselves to the point in which they began to bleed – and yet they did all of that to no avail.
The interesting point about those who committed self-inflicted wounds is that they did so at the allegiance and worship to their god. Many today are worshiping different things and even other people, and yet it is causing self-destruction or self-inflicted wounds. When you and I worship other gods instead of the Lord God, then our lives begin to suffer from being led astray and we destroy ourselves in the process.
In verses 30-35, it was then Elijah’s turn to pray to his God who was the Lord God. In these verses, Elijah re-builds the altar with 12 stones which represented the 12 Tribes Israel and he has the altar and the burnt sacrifice drenched with water twice. In verses 36-37, Elijah prays to God and asks that His presence and truth be known to the people. Essentially, Elijah wanted the reality and the evidence of God to be known based on the altar being burned by fire.
(NKJV) “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”
At the end of the day, Elijah and those who witnessed it saw the evidence of God and saw the truth for themselves. The fact is that regardless of other gods that may exist, none of them are true, but rather they are false. Anything and anyone can be a god, but there is only one God who is everlasting and who lives.
The world that we live in today has been built to showcase idolatry just as it was in the Old and even the New Testament of the Bible. Idolatry is not a new phenomenon, but rather it has continued throughout human history. However, it is a sin to commit idolatry and in every instance, God shows His righteous judgment.
There will be a day in which the world shall be judged for the allowance of idolatry. However, even after that day comes, God will prove Himself to the world and even after you and I pass away from this Earth we will know that God is indeed the truth and that He lives. The sad part about idol worship is that many serve gods that cannot speak, cannot hear, nor do they have life.
However, worshiping God who lives, speaks, listens, and is the giver of life is a better option than to worship something or even someone who is dead. Even if someone decides to create an idol out of a living person, such an act is still illegitimate because a mere mortal does not have the power to create or to have dominion over everyone and everything.
Only God Himself is the true God who desires to be known and He desires to know us. The only way to know Him is through having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you know God for yourself? Have you accepted this gift of life through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? If not, then you are missing an important part of what it means to experience life. Also, you will not have a chance to experience eternal life. Only through Christ will you taste the majestic and glorious power of God. Accept Christ and know who God is for yourself.