"Hedging bets"

Millions of people say they believe in God, but to guarantee the good life they also put their trust in capitalism, science, or immoral pleasures. Recently, however, we've seen further proof that these gods cannot deliver. Free markets have collapsed, sending the economies of most countries into deep recessions. Scientific breakthroughs have produced cloning and greenhouse gasses. And the sexual revolution left us with AIDS and increased divorce.

Our predicament is not unlike Old Testament Israel, which hedged its worship of Yahweh by betting on Baal, the god of fertility. Baal was the storm god who, with lightning in one hand and thunder in the other, promised to send rain on the Israelites' fields and make them rich.

God by striking Israel at their point of compromise. You worship Baal for the rain he provides? Then "there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!" (1 Kings 17:1).

After 3 years of drought, the parched Israelites agreed to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel for a faceoff between Baal and Yahweh. The prophets of Baal shouted and cut themselves, but they couldn't persuade Baal to drop a lightning bolt and burn their sacrifice. Elijah scoffed that perhaps the pagan god was "daydreaming" or "relieving himself," "Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!" (1 Kings 18:27).

When the exhausted Baal worshipers had finally given up, Elijah called down fire on his waterlogged sacrifice, a fire so intense that it consumed even the stones of the altar. Then Elijah seized the prophets of Baal and slew them.

Capitalism, science, and sex are good gifts from God. But if we put our trust in them (instead of Him), He may use these very things to destroy us. , Mike Wittmer, Our Daily Journey CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org