Wednesday, 25th May 2011
Biblical perspectives for living
Wavering between two opinions
During the reign of King Ahab Israel was in a state of deep spiritual decline. After three years of drought which brought great hardship to the nation (c.865 B.C.) Elijah instructed the King to summon the people to Mount Carmel together with hundreds of the priests of Baal and Asherah. Many Israelites had broken the first commandment and
worshipped these false gods but there was still a residual awareness of the God of their fathers.
Even after three years of economic hardship there was no obvious change in the spiritual condition of the people.
So Elijah asks them a searching and challenging question: "Why do you waver between two opinions. If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him” (1Kings 17:21).
The situation in Israel has resonances with our own society. We too have endured three years of economic difficulty, with many experiencing a significant drop in their standard of
living. In the Old Testament era drought and famine was a clear sign of God's displeasure and the people should have taken notice, but they did not.
Similarly, the difficulties we are facing as a nation might very well prompt some in our society who have been caught up with the lure of materialism to re-assess their value system. Society's fling with "Mammon” has had disastrous consequences. The dream has turned into a nightmare. And yet there is a residual interest in what might loosely be termed "Christian values”.
Perhaps you have personally experienced some sense of inner spiritual conflict. You live your life with a largely secular outlook but you cannot dismiss Christianity because there is obviously so much good in it.
Jesus put it very simply. ”You cannot serve God and Mammon.” The true and living God will not share his glory with another. He is too great and worthy to allow himself to be demeaned by association with our utterly unworthy idols. He demands that we worship him exclusively, or not at all. Why do you waver between two opinions? If Jesus is Lord, follow him.
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