June 8, 2016
Elijah appealed to all the people and said, “How long will you straddle the issue? If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.” Then after challenging the prophets of Baal to a holocaust duel, and Baal failed to come through, Elijah prepared his altar and triple doused it with water, after which: The LORD’s fire came down and consumed the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dust, and it lapped up the water in the trench. Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said, “The LORD is God! The LORD is God!” 1_Kgs_18:20-39
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Mt_5:17-19
In the Fifth Chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus had just described the characteristics of what it takes to be blessed or happy in His Kingdom. We call those characteristics or attributes – The Beatitudes. And in them, Jesus tells us that in order to be blessed, we need to be spiritually poor, meek, humble, righteous, merciful, compassionate, peacemakers, and maybe even end up persecuted for our belief in Him.
It was all, just the opposite of the way the Pharisees and Sadducees conducted themselves. And it probably made His listeners pretty confused as to who they were supposed to follow. They were walking that ‘fine line,‘ ‘straddling that fence,‘ between Belief in Jesus, or those Jewish leaders.
Today Jesus makes it pretty clear that He’s not changing anything that God, His Father, had already taught them. And He’s also making it obvious that they cannot ‘walk the fence’ between following God’s Commandments or not.
It’s all or nothing.
The Prophet Elijah makes the same statement to the early Israelites. Those people were pretty stressed after enduring a very long period of drought . . . And they were very confused and misguided by the most evil King and Queen their nation had ever experienced, Ahab and Jezabel.
You see, they were straddling the fence between still believing in the LORD who saved them from 400-years of slavery in Egypt, or putting their trust in a pagan statue called Baal.
So God used Elijah, just as He used Moses and all the Prophets, to wow and to woo His people back into belief.
It’s funny how fickle and short-memoried we can be. We love to be wowed by things we don’t understand: our July 4th fireworks, our tiny computers and phones, our self-driving cars, and our politicians, still promising freedom, when behind our backs they keep taking it away. And then, we’re woo’d into letting these be our gods.
And, in no time at all, we’ve forgotten all about: the Fire from heaven, the Splitting open of the sea, the Multiplication of the loaves and the Resurrection of the dead. And here we are – back into the human sacrifice of abortion and defending the immorality that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
You see, our world seems to have forgotten that: Only God can keep us safe; Only in God can we find true freedom and hope; And that only in keeping His Commandments of Love, will we ever attain the Peace of His Kingdom.
But praise be to God, brothers and sisters, that WE remember. otherwise we wouldn’t even be here. You see, we’re never too young, and we’re never too old to wow and to woo this world back to God with His Love.
And that’s exactly why we are here!
___________________end of post