The text takes place when Ahab was king of Israel. “And Ahab…did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him” (1 Kings 16:30). The Bible records in 1 Kings 18:18 that Ahab had forsaken the commandments of the Lord and had followed the false god, Baal. Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, had killed the prophets of the Lord, save the 100 prophets that Obadiah had hidden and fed bread and water. The king of Israel and the inhabitants of Israel were not following God, but instead the false god Baal.
God had sent a grievous famine for three and a half years on Israel to prepare them to return to God. Elijah had been sent by God to Ahab to show who was really God. The stage was set. Ahab brought the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves to see which god would answer by fire, Ahab’s gods or Elijah’s God. But Elijah prefaces this contest of validation by asking Israel the question in the text, “How long halt ye between two opinions?”
As God’s people of Elijah’s day were asked to make a decision, a commitment to God or to Baal; so it is today and for the future. Which will it be – God or Baal?
The choice of the commitment will be manifested in who you follow, or to whom you are a disciple. “If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.”
To follow means:
- To make a choice. The choice itself eliminates all others. Therefore, you have only one King, one Lord, one Master to obey. It means to be single eyed and totally loyal to Him.
- To submit. A woman can choose one man to be her husband; but to follow that man as her head, she must submit to his position as head and to her position as his body. She submits to his leadership, rulership, and protection. She places herself under his umbrella. She takes on his name and places her efforts to support him and to help him carry on his duties.
- To obey His commands with a ready mind and a joyful heart. You are not to serve Him because you have to, but because you want to.
- That you have counted the cost and are willing to follow Him unto the end, no matter the cost to the flesh.
Why are you halting today? Elijah’s God was the God of Action, of Answer from heaven by fire. Elijah’s God was and is alive, and He was and is the only true and living God. Ahab’s god, Baal, was dead and gave no answer. The gods of men are created by men and are not gods at all. They cannot speak, move, or help themselves in any way, for they are made of stone, wood, and dreams of man; and thus have no life in them.
You cannot straddle the fence. There is no middle ground. You cannot be a secret disciple of either God or Baal. You will either follow God, be His disciple, His servant, obeying His commands; or you will be a follower of Baal and be a disciple of this flesh, a lover of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. If you follow Christ, you will be following The Way, The Truth, and The Life. But if you follow Baal, you will be following defeat and destruction in this temporal life; and if not saved, you will suffer eternal damnation and spend eternity with the father of all lies and deception, the devil.
Which will it be? The God that answers prayer, or the god of stone that cannot speak? The God of supply, or the god of emptiness? The God of life, or the god of death? The God of victory, or the god of defeat?
Child of God, you are saved and you have the Spirit of God, even the Spirit of discernment. Therefore, you have no reason to be halting between two opinions. You have been called and chosen to be Christ’s disciple. Surrender your complete soul, body, and spirit to God. Submit to Him and obey Him. Follow Him whithersoever He goeth.
Choose life and blessings, and not cursing and death (Deuteronomy 30:12-20). Don’t waste another day halting between two opinions. “If the Lord be God, follow Him.” It is not “if” as to maybe, but since He is God, follow Him, be His disciple today. (Luke 14:26-33).
(This devotional was previously posted on January 27, 2011.)