Keith Hunt - Knowing the True God - Page Sixteen   Restitution of All Things

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Knowing the True God #16

Power and Smallness

                      THE GOD OF GLORY AND STILLNESS!


     The nation of Israel had fallen away from serving the true
God. Elijah the Tishbite was sent to king Ahab and told him there
would be no rain for three years. Then Elijah was to hide himself
by the brook Cherith, near Jordan. There he was nourished by the
brook and the ravens brought him food. But the day came when the
brook dried up, for indeed there had been no rain. Elijah was to
go to a widow woman who would, through a miracle of the Lord,
sustain him (1 Kings 17).

     The word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year of the
draught, to go and show himself to Ahab the king. When Ahab saw
Elijah he said, "Is it not you, the fellow who gives trouble to
Israel!" Elijah was quick to answer, "Oh no, it is not me who has
troubled Israel, it is YOU, and your father's house, by forsaking
the commandments of the Lord, and in following Baal. You want to
see who really is the true God? Then gather to me all Israel unto
mount Carmel, and all the prophets of Baal - four hundred and
fifty, and all the prophets of the pagan groves - four hundred,
which eat at Jezebel's table."

     So indeed Ahab took Elijah up on the challenge. He told
Israel to come, and told the prophets to gather at Carmel. 

     Elijah lifted up his voice like a trumpet and declared, "How
long halt you between two thoughts? If the Lord is God, follow
him: but if Baal, then follow him."
     The people stood and answered him not a word.

     Then said Elijah, "I, even I only, remain a prophet of the
Lord (at this time he did not know God had 7,000 people that had
not bowed the knee to Baal); but Baal's prophets be four hundred
and fifty. Let them get two bullocks; let them choose one bullock
for themselves and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put
no fire under it; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it
on wood, and put no fire under it. Let the prophets of Baal call
on the name of their gods, and I will call on the name of the
Lord; and the God that answers by fire, let him be God."
     All the people thought, wow that is a good idea.

     Elijah told the prophets of Baal to go first, for they were
many. And so they did, they cut up the bullock, put it in pieces
on the wood, and called on the name of Baal. They called on him
from morning even till noon, saying: "O Baal, hear us!!" But
there was no voice, all was quiet. Hence the false prophets
leaped upon the altar, shouting out for Baal to hear them and
work his miracle.
     At noon Elijah stood up saying, "Oh, you are not crying and
shouting loud enough. He may have taken a nap, or maybe talking
to someone else, or maybe he is on a long journey. Maybe he is
sleeping, and so you need to cry louder and wake him out of
sleep."
     The prophets of Baal took Elijah seriously (he was in
reality just mocking them, and being sarcastic). They began to
shout and scream louder. They even started to cut themselves with
knives and swords as they did in their worship ceremonies to
Baal. They continued all day, right to the time of the evening
sacrifice. But there was no voice heard from Baal, no answer, no
attention from him at all.

     Elijah told the people to come close. He repaired the altar
of the Lord that was broken down. He took twelve stones,
according to the number of tribes of Israel. With the stones he
built an altar in the name of the Lord. He made a trench about
the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seeds. He
put wood on the altar, and told the people to fill four barrels
with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood.
He told them to do it a second time. He told them to do it a
third time, and the water ran round about the altar; and Elijah
made sure the trench was filled with water.

     And it came to pass at the time of the evening sacrifice,
Elijah lifted up his voice and said:

"Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known
this day that you are God in Israel, and that I an your
servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that
thou are the Lord God, and that you hast turned their hearts
back again."


     Like a bolt of lightning, like a miniature atomic bomb, the
Lord answered. There was a FLASH as bright as the sun, a flash
that was too hard to look at for any length of time. Out of
heaven came the FIRE in thunderous form. It crashed through the
air down onto the alar, the sacrifice, the stones, the water!!
All was consumed, every dust particle, every drop of water. It
was a MIGHTY MIRACLE!! God was the God of POWER, strength, force,
energy, brawn, vitality. He was the God of PRESTIGE, AUTHORITY,
and all around KNEW IT!! 
     When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces to the
ground, and cried out: "THE LORD GOD, HE IS THE GOD; THE LORD, HE
IS THE GOD!!"

     The prophets of Baal were slain at the brook of Kishon! (1
Kings 18).


     Jezerbel was angry on hear the new. She vowed to kill
Elijah. Even a man of God may at times, get human fear. Elijah
fled for his life. He came to Beersheba in Judah. He ate and went
for 40 days and 40 nights on the strength of that meal, to Horeb,
the mount of God. He found himself a cave and lodged there. He told 
God how he had worked for Him and that he alone was the
only one serving the true God. 

     The Lord told Elijah to stand upon the mount. The Lord
passed by and a GREAT and strong WIND torn into the mountain. It
broke into pieces the rocks round about. But the Lord was NOT in
the wind.
     After the wind there was a MIGHTY earthquake, that shook the
mountain, the earth moving under Elijah's feet. But the Lord was
NOT in the earthquake.
     Then appeared some of the powerful miracle of FIRE that
Elijah had previously seen when it burnt the sacrifice, altar,
stones, and licked up the water. But God was NOT in the fire.

     After all this splendor, brilliance, dazzle, radiance,
resplendence, and physical intensity .....THERE WAS A STILL SMALL
VOICE ..... GOD SPOKE TO ELIJAH, in a still small voice. He told
him, "No, Elijah, you are not all by yourself, for I have SEVEN
thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal,
and every mouth which hath not kissed him" (1 Kings 19). 


     Ah, indeed, God can come with POWER AND MIGHT. He has come
that way. He will come that way when Jesus returns to earth!!
There will yet be MIGHTY POWERFUL SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS before
this age comes to an end. Sometimes even NOW, God will use
physical power and mighty spectacular ways to answer His people.
Sometimes we need to be careful HOW we pray, for it is possible
God will answer in ways that will dumbfound us, shock us, leave
us with our mouth open and speechless (see my study "Watch How
you Pray").

     Then at other times the nature of God is to put away all the
special effects, all the glitz and glamor, all the physical
powers at His command. At times all of that is NOT where He is.
Sometimes God speaks to us in the quite, in the peaceful, in the
soft still voice - in the still small voice!

     Are YOU listening? Is your life so full of NOISE, BUSTLE,
CLANGING, ALL THE SPECIAL EFFECT GOING ON AROUND YOU ALL THE
TIME, that the STILL SMALL VOICE cannot be heard? 
     It's time to look in the mirror, to take inventory of your
life, to make sure you have the moments when you CAN hear God's
still small voice talking to you!

     It is all part of KNOWING the real true God!

                          .......................


To be continued


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