Tuesday’s Torch 530
April 2, 2019
I would like to venture into the Old Testament tonight. I’ve been talking a lot recently about God being able to do all things. That nothing is impossible with God. I would like to discuss the following situation where the prophet Elijah went up against the prophets of the idol Baal. In 1 Kings Chapter 18 Elijah is contending with the people and here is the story straight from the King James Bible. I had considered paraphrasing but I think it best to quote it.
“.. if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.
31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.
33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.”
This is a very powerful story, a very powerful example of what God can do. Now i’d like to use this story to describe what He can do for us personally. In this story, Elijah prepares the sacrifice to be burnt, and then proceeds to dump barrel after barrel of water onto it. Drenching it so much as to make it seem practically impossible to burn the sacrifice, but God does it. Sometimes we have put ourselves into situations where we don’t think God can reach us. Sometimes we feel like we are too far gone, that we ourselves are drowning, that there is no way that God can save us. Or even if we feel like he can save us, we think that he won’t. Because after all, sometimes the situation is of our own creation.
Maybe we can’t feel the same fire we once felt, maybe our testimonies have weakened due to pain, sadness, heartbreak, loss, or just letting the world get to us. Maybe we have our own idols that have taken a place above God in our lives? Many of us may fall prey to the idols of popular opinion, or listen to the words of some celebrity or political figure, others may simply feel like we know better than God what is best for us? Really, whatever it is they place above God and righteousness can be an idol.
But I testify to you tonight that God can still reach you. God can still do what needs to be done. So even if you’ve dumped a proverbial 12 barrels of water on yourself, even if you’ve isolated yourself, even if you’ve gotten yourself caught up in any manner of unrighteousness. Call out to God and he can light a fire in your heart right this moment. He can burn through whatever nonsense may be causing you grief at this moment.
He can shine a light that no amount of darkness can blot out. I’m just going to put this out there. Nothing can stand against our God. If you need help, get help. If you feel lost, you can be found. If you feel hopeless, you can regain that hope. If you feel broken beyond repair, the Atonement of Jesus Christ can heal you, and fix you. He is the one to turn to if you need saving. God is real. God loves you! God loves me! He sent his Son for us!
Accept that gift. Allow this power into your life. The same God who sent fire from heaven to show that He was God, will send a fire into your heart!
Do you wish to get back to some previous level of belief? Have you never had a testimony of Jesus Christ and wish to receive one? Are you on a road that is leading you farther away from the Savior? Have you let sadness and loss bring you down? Pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ and ask for his help. He will not turn you away. He will send his power to be with you. He will lift you up. Of this I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16