"The day for the contest arrived and from morning till evening, four-hundred and fifty prophets of Baal danced and cried out and cut themselves, calling to your god- only no one answered, no one paid attention. Then, Elijah prepared an altar to God. He placed an offering on it and ordered a trench dug around it. He commanded that four large jars of water be poured atop the offering and insisted that it be done a second time and a third time, so that the altar was drowned in water. Elijah prayed and fire fell. The sacrifice was consumed and the water in the trench was licked up. All the people fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord, He is God, the Lord, He is God."
Several things have become clear to me. First, like the people of Israel, we have followed other gods and allowed a distant king and his prophets of wealth to seduce us from the things of God.
Second, I have noticed that when we do cry out to God, we more resemble the prophets of Baal than the prophet of God. We stir up the dust with activity and congratulate ourselves on the show, but where is the fire, where is the fire?
What will it take for the fire to fall? We need a troubler. Someone who will make us uncomfortable. Someone who will scoff at our pretense when we claim to be God’s people, but don’t live like it.
We need a John The Baptist. Someone who is not afraid to look at our smug righteousness and say, “Oh generation of vipers.” We need a prophet with the spirit of Jesus, someone who is not afraid to liken us to white-washed tombs, pleasant to look at on the outside, but a rotting stench on the inside. We need a troubler, we need Elijah. Someone willing to call us out and challenge us to our face.
How long will you go limping after other gods? How long will you serve the god of mercantile wealth? How long will you worship the gods of ease and comfort? If the Lord be God, than follow Him, but if Baal be god, then follow him all the way to Hell.
Have I stated the argument too strongly? Have I offended you? I fear I have not offended you enough. I fear that my greatest sin, as your pastor, is that at times, I’ve cared more about what you think of me than what God thinks of me.
God, in Heaven, send us a troubler.” – Author Unknown, 1864.