Heed the Warning
August 24, 2005 • By Ed Wrather
Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, "Is that you, O troubler of Israel?" And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals. Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table." So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. - 1 Kings 18:17-21.
Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. - Luke 21:34-35.
In June 1996, I received a speeding ticket, and it was not my first. My first, and the only other speeding ticket I have received was when I was seventeen years old and late for a date. In 1996, we were on our way home from the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans and I was driving along near Bonham, Texas in what I thought was a 70mph zone. A few cars came by flashing their lights, but I knew that I was driving the speed limit and I could not see any immediate road hazard. So, oblivious to any need to slow down, I continued on until a highway patrolman appeared in his patrol car; He immediately turned on his lights and pulled me over. I told him I thought that I was doing the speed limit and his response was "not here." As in, the speed limit is lower here (60mph). I had somehow missed the sign signaling the change in speed limit. At that point, I wished that I had heeded the warnings of all those passing cars flashing their lights at me. But it was too late.
The false prophets of Baal and Asherah were brought together along with the children of Israel on Mount Carmel by King Ahab at the request of Elijah, who was following God's instructions. There on Mount Carmel the great contest between the false gods and the one true God took place. We know the result and that result was that the false gods were unable to do anything. However, the one true God was able to burn up the offering in a terrifying demonstration of His power. Elijah asked the people "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." Another translation says, "waver between two opinions."
After the fire of God fell from Heaven upon the offering of Elijah, burning it all up even the water, it must have looked very foolish to the people that they had ever believed in the false gods. It must have, then, looked foolish that they had ever wavered between those false gods and the one true God, who was and is the creator of Heaven and earth and everything else.
The Bible warns that there is a day of reckoning coming for every person. The Bible warns, "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth."
Have you been wavering between obedience in serving your Lord and the allurements of the world, the flesh, and the devil? Are you "weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life"? Heed the warning because there is a day of reckoning that is fast approaching.