October 22, 2011

Following or Wavering?

1 Kings 18:16-24

“How long will you waver … ? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
1 Kings 18:21


One prophet of God stands against 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. The focus of this confrontation is on how the Lord and Baal will respond. But the question that prompts this battle pulls everyone on Mount Carmel into the conflict: “Whom will you follow?” When Elijah confronts the people with that question, they say nothing.

The people’s silence is the silence of indecision. It is also the silence of disobedience. Ultimately it is deadly. No decision for God is a decision that will lead to separation from the God who brings life.

What filled that silence?

In that moment of confrontation the people could have responded with cries of repentance and with prayers seeking forgiveness. But they said nothing. They did not commit to anything. Perhaps they thought silence was the better approach.

Maybe you have been in situations where it seemed sensible to say nothing. But at Mount Carmel the people’s silence was a sign of wavering—they failed to confess their sins, and that was a statement against God.

Stating our faith and our need for repentance is the way we come out in the open. Don’t be silent. Following God means understanding the need for and the power of forgiveness—and sharing that with others.

Dear God, I confess that often I try to cover up. I fail to speak up about my faith, and I fail to confess my sins before you. Help me to seek and share your love. Forgive me, I pray. Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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