Tongues AfireWhen have you recently endured the wound of another person’s words?
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Wednesday April 2
on solid ground
In the film High Fidelity, a character named Rob Gordon lamented his history of passivity. “I guess it made more sense to commit to nothing, keep my options open” he said. “And that’s suicide by tiny, tiny increments.”
It’s a prevalent human temptation to hold off on firmly attaching ourselves to any opinion or belief. It’s a good thing to pursue humility and to be always open to correction, but it’s a foolish and debilitating practice to neglect committing ourselves to truths that will guide us.
Elijah confronted Israel for their uncertain, vacillating posture. Israel’s King Ahab had led the people into idolatry and their abandonment of God along with their position as His people. As a result, God zipped up the rainclouds and dried out the land. There hadn’t been rain for 3 years, and Elijah decided it was time for a showdown. “Summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel,” Elijah told Ahab, “along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel” (1 Kings 18:19).
When Baal’s prophets and the people of Israel were standing on Mount Carmel, Elijah confronted them with the question: “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions?” (v.21). The word for “opinions” carries the image of a set of crutches. So a literal reading of his question could be, “How long will you go limping around on crutches?” Whenever we refuse to commit ourselves to truths we believe, we go lame. We don’t stand for anything. We’re never solid.
Elijah concluded his challenge, not with an appeal for blind faith but rather for a commitment to the truth: “If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” (v.21). —Winn Collier
Read all of 1 Kings 18. How did Elijah’s actions support his appeal for the people to make a decision? How did God respond?
How have you been vacillating between opinions? How has this practice kept you from a stronger relationship with God and others?
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