IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES
TOPIC: AND THEY CRIED, THE LORD, HE IS GOD!
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The LORD, He is God. The LORD, He is God.’”
(1 Kings 18:39)
The odds may looked stacked in the favor of evil, but Elijah is about to experience the truth that one plus God is a majority.
This passage has it setting when the spiritual tide in Israel is at an extremely low ebb. The people have, for the most part, turned their backs on the Lord and have gone after the Canaanite god Baal. It is against this backdrop of apostasy and idolatry that the prophet Elijah strolls onto the stage. He is introduced in 1 Kings 17:1. When he makes his appearance, he comes with a message from the Lord. It is a clarion call for repentance and for a renewal to loyalty to Jehovah.
In this passage, things come to a head. On the one hand there is Ahab, Jezebel, the prophets and priests of Baal and an entire nation, less 7,000 people of God, 1 Kings 19:18. On the other, there is Elijah and Jehovah. The odds may looked stacked in the favor of evil, but Elijah is about to experience the truth that one plus God is a majority.
“‘Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their hearts back.’ Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The LORD, He is God. The LORD, He is God.’”
(1 Kings 18:37–39)
Oh, these verses come at the end of one of the most awesome pictures we see in the Old Testament. Elijah, before the prophets of Baal, calling out for God to bring down fire from heaven to show that He, not the Canaanite rain god, Baal, that God alone, the Lord, is worthy of worship. And it all culminates in this prayer, at the end of the chapter, that Elijah offers before God.
We pray in faith that God will call His people according to His purpose. Let’s pray that by God’s grace many will turn in Christ declaring, “The Lord, He is God.
This verse tells us that the people of Israel were possessed of a divided allegiance. On the one hand, they enjoyed their name as God’s people, but on the other hand, they loved the sensual, fleshly appeal of Baal worship. Elijah described their condition as “one limping along a fence.” They were torn between two ideas and as a result, they were accomplishing nothing!
Baal was the principal deity of the Canaanites. He, along with his associate, Ashtoreth was worshiped through such abominable practices as human sacrifice and sexual immorality. In some places, women were forced to serve as prostitutes in the groves!
These people had fallen a long way from the nation that had entered and conquered Canaan hundreds of years before. Now they are a politically divided and apostate nation.
Ignorance is worst when it amounts to ignorance of God, and knowledge is best when it exercises itself upon the Name of God.
This most excellent knowledge leads to the most excellent grace of faith. O, to learn more of the attributes and character of God. Unbelief, that hooting night bird, cannot live in the light of divine knowledge, it flies before the sun of God’s great and gracious name. …By knowing his name is also meant an experimental acquaintance with the attributes of God, which are everyone of them anchors to hold the soul from drifting in seasons of peril. The Lord may hide his face for a season from his people, but he never has utterly, finally, really, or angrily, forsaken them that seek him.
The word, the character, and the actions of God should be evermore before our eyes; we should learn, consider, and reverence them. Men forget what they do not wish to remember, but the excellent attributes of the Most High are objects of the believer’s affectionate and delighted admiration. We should keep the image of God so constantly before us that we become in our measure conformed unto it. This inner love to the right must be the main spring of Christian integrity in our public walk. The fountain must be filled with love to holiness and then the streams which issue from it will be pure and gracious.
God doth not merely cure the evil in us, but he confers unspeakable good. He takes away the disfiguring wound, but he imparts also comeliness and beauty. If any of you this morning are in a low state of grace, so that you have even fallen into fretfulness at the prosperity of the ungodly, do not cast away all hope, for the grace of God aboundeth toward us in all wisdom and prudence, and he will restore your soul.
Remember how David said, in the seventy-third Psalm: “I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” “So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.” The Lord knoweth how to bring his people again from Bashan, yea, and to uplift them like Jonah from the depths of the sea; and he can bring you by the operation of his grace this day upward from doubt to assurance, from fretfulness to rest.
“I am the Lord, I change not; therefore, ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
It has been said by some one that “the proper study of mankind is man.” I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt; and with the solemn exclamation, “I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. We shall be obliged to feel—
But while the subject humbles the mind it also expands it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe.
I would like to help you believe in your heart this morning that: The omnipotence of God means reverence, recompense, and refuge, for his covenant people.
If you belong to that covenant people my prayer for you is that this message will deepen your sense of reverence for God, increase your confidence that all the enemies of righteousness will be justly recompensed by God (vengeance belongs to God not to us!), and encourage you to rest in the refuge of God’s protecting power in times of distress.
If you don’t belong to God’s covenant people, my prayer for you is that when you hear some of the benefits of belonging to an omnipotent God, you will bow and accept the terms of his covenant, namely, obedient faith in Jesus Christ.
The omnipotence of God means refuge for the people of God. And when you really believe that your refuge is the omnipotence of GOD ALMIGHTY, there is a joy and a freedom and a power that spills over in a life of radical obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The omnipotence of God means reverence, recompense, and refuge for his covenant people. I invite you to accept the terms of his covenant of grace: turn from sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the omnipotence of GOD ALMIGHTY will be the reverence of your soul, the recompense of your enemies, and the refuge of your life—forever.
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