Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012/08/12 - Worshipping the wrong God

Anybody else here wonder Why we have a drought?  Does God make it happen?  Does he just allow it to happen?  This summer, Ive thought that question a lot as Ive watched my garden struggle, my grass wither, and my trees die.  I watch the radar and watch the sky as time after time after time it seems like the rain is just so close you could almost reach out and touch it then suddenly it turns or just fizzles and dries up.  This week we finally got 'some' rain at our house, but it was so frustrating to watch all the real soaking rain pass south of us ....again.  It would be easy to lose faith to give up. Why do I even PRAY to God if he cant even deliver us some rain!?  You know, God, you wouldnt have to work a MAJOR miracle to make it rain today.its just right there!.
At one point, I was kinda ticked off at God.  In some ways, I felt like Elijah in the desert.  OK God Im done Im just gonna lay down here under this broom tree and die!  Ive had it!
Now for this reading to really make sense, you gotta understand what happened right BEFORE it.  In many ways, this story is a mirror image of today and This may be one of the most interesting stories in the Old Testament.  So let me give you the readers digest version.  (if you want to check it out, read 1 Kings chapters 17-19)
First, Elijah predicts a drought.  Think that has any resemblance to today?  It was even worse, though, because they didnt get ANY rain and not even DEW. For THREE YEARS!  Can you imagine Here after 3 years of drought?  Why would God cause something so devastating?  Because He was trying to fix Israel.  You see - They were worshipping the wrong God.  When queen Jezebel came into power, somehow it became politically correct to worship Baal instead of the Lord.  Ball was supposed to be the God of fertility, but Also he was the god of rain.  So the Lord God decided to SHOW Israel who really has the power by taking away the one thing that could prove that Baal was not God. 
This is where it gets really interesting Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a duel of sorts.  They built this altar and cut up a bull stacked a bunch of wood around it then the challenge was to call down fire from heaven to consume that sacrifice.  It was almost comical 450 priests of Baal standing around chanting, praying, and such, trying to get Baal to send fire from heaven.  Elijah even taunted them nothing is happening!  Your god must be on the can!  Maybe hes sleeping!  Try praying LOUDER!   So, these guys shout even louder and slash themselves with knivesit was a crazy scene.  After several hours, Elijah stepped in and told them to step aside.  Then he had his servants pour WATER on the wood under the sacrifice three times he had them dump water all over it until there was no way a match could light that it.  Then he prayed and fire came from heaven and consumed not only the burnt offering, but the entire altar of stone!
Would that get YOUR attention?  It got Baals prophets attention.  It was OBVIOUS that THEY had been worshipping the WRONG GOD.  Elijah had his servants hunt them all down and kill them. Their just reward for having led the people away from the Lord, God.
To drive home the lesson, Elijah then predicted that rain was coming and sure enough the three year drought ended.  Only the Lord, God controls the winds and the rain!  The people were in awe and realized that they had been worshipping the wrong God!
Next queen Jezebel heard that Elijah had killed all of her prophets, so she put out the death warrant for Elijah so Elijah did what any other self-respecting prophet would do he ran away fast.and thats where todays reading comes in Elijah runs into the desert and is fed up!  God Ive been serving you taking all the abuse of people who dont want to hear what you told me to tell them and now Im chased into the desert without food or water  - AND Ive got a death threat?!  IM DONE! 
Great story...but, How does this relate to you and me? 
Im not one to go around saying that God is using a natural phenomenon like a hurricane or tsunami or tornado to teach somebody a lesson but in this case, its pretty clear that he did use a drought to teach a lesson...they were worshipping the wrong God.  So is He trying to teach us something today?  You know if the rain missed us only a few times, you might write it off as just the randomness of nature but after 20-30 times of the rain stopping just short of our house it seems obvious to me that SOMEBODY  is trying to tell us something.  So what is it?  Could it be that WE are worshipping the wrong God?
Maybe were like the people in the Gospel theyre chasing after Jesus not because they were wanting to hear his wisdom but because he fed them free food once (when he fed the 5000) and theres every reason to believe that he might just do it again!  They were worshipping their stomachs.
Maybe were worshipping our own self-reliance we dont always recognize our need for God.  We are always in control.  Heck even in a drought, we can still water our gardens from our garden hoses. But this dry, for this long we have to realize that the only thing thats going to keep us from drying to a crisp and burning like Colorado is for rain to come. And only ONE controls the rain.and it aint us.  Perhaps thats why farmers often have a better faith life.  Maybe its easier for them to recognize their total dependence on God.
Let me go back to my thought earlier - God you wouldnt have to work a MAJOR miracle to make the rain today.its just right there!.  I think the Holy Spirit spoke to me because I suddenly realized that EVERY DROP of rain is a miracle.  I think its easier for us to recognize that right now as were going through the drought EVERY drop FEELS precious right now.  But whether it falls on a parched field in July or on a rainy day in January it is GOD who provides the rain he's the one who makes the molecules and the wind and humidity all come together to form each raindrop.  EVERY rain drop is a miracle to think otherwise would be to deny that God is LORD of the rain.  Would you agree?  Is every raindrop a miracle?...  A blessing from God?  You dont have to raise your hands just answer that to yourself yes or no.
OK God so I believe you are Lord of the Rain so what?  But I felt the Spirit pulling me to think a little deeper.  I couldnt help but notice that many of us are often tempted to think the same way about human life.  Life is only a blessing when we want it or need it but now that we understand that every raindrop is a blessing from God then shouldnt it be even easier to recognize that every Life is a blessing from God?  Whether we intended or wanted it to happen or not, God must have willed it, or the molecules and chemistry wouldnt have lined up to allow that little miracle to happen.  God is pro-Choice!!  Dont walk out on me just yet let me explain God has the choice whether or not to send us rain.  God has the choice whether or not to allow conception to occur.  God has the choice when to end my life.  Its easy for us to be pulled in to the politically correct, so-called wisdom of world which says that WE should have the right to choose whether that life should be allowed to continue.  Our culture today worships individual rights and individual beliefs.  We have been worshipping the wrong God.  
But the good news is that God loves us so much that He will stop at nothing to pull us back!  He would die on the cross He would feed us with his body and blood. So I dont think He would hesitate to make the drought continue for 3 or 4 more years if thats what it takes to make us realize ... weve been worshipping the wrong God.

1 comment:

  1. "But the good news is that God loves us so much that He will stop at nothing to pull us back!" I like this!!! Now all I have to do is do my part...Love HIM!!! Cathy