August 6, 2021
Will the Real God Please Stand Up!
August 6, 2021
Today’s reading tells the story of an epic contest between the false god Baal and the one and only true God of Israel, Yahweh. Here’s a little backstory…Elijah was a prophet of Yahweh. He was despised by Jezebel, the non-Jewish wife of the Jewish king Ahab. Elijah was troubled because Jezebel was encouraging the Jewish people to forsake their religion and follow her false god, Baal. To settle the question once and for all, Elijah engineers a show-down that will unequivocally reveal the true God.
Elijah challenges Jezebel’s prophets to a contest: two altars will be built; two bulls will be prepared for sacrifice and then they’ll see whose God will send fire from heaven to ignite the burnt offering. In some of the most amusing writing in the Bible, we see how Elijah taunts Baal’s prophets: “Cry aloud! Surely he is a god; either he is meditating or he has wandered away, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” But of course, there was no answer.
Then Elijah cries to the LORD and fire rains down from heaven and consumes the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even the water in the trench around the altar. And all the people were convinced — the LORD was indeed God.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Have you ever had God show up in your life with an undeniable show of his power and grace?
- Have you ever had the chance to share that story with someone who is not a believer? Think about how you could help encourage someone with your own testimony of grace.
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- What is your favorite contest or game? How does it feel to win? Do you think this is the feeling Elijah had when his God — the true God — beat the false god Baal?
Lord, help us to share our stories of how you’ve shown up in our lives in powerful ways with those who could use encouragement. Help us to boldly trust you even when the odds seem stacked against us. Amen.