1 Kings 18:36-39
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
Many in life are required to stand alone for truth. Sometimes that is done before strangers, and other times that is done among one’s own people or in one’s own home. I know a man who was raised in a religious home but not a Christian home. He was not encouraged to read the Bible or follow the teachings of Christ. The religion under which he was raised was rigid and impersonal. It was dead. As he grew, he came to know the truth and develop a relationship with his Savior. He tells the story of how he tried to convince his family of the truth once he came to know it, but they dismissed him. His testimony, as great as it was, was not sufficient to convince them. It took God doing a miracle in each of those people’s lives for them to know the truth that their brother and son had tried so hard to share with them. During that time, he had to be sure not to let discouragement become offense.
In this passage, Elijah experienced a moment that may be common to each of us. He had been directed by God to speak the truth, but his own people dismissed him. He could have taken offense at this dismissal, but he did not. He understood that his purpose was not to prove himself but to prove God. Those who opposed Elijah did not actually oppose him but opposed God. In fact, we might say that this was not about Elijah at all. Neither was this about the other prophets who were hunted and killed during that time. This was about God’s glory and his calling his people back to him. To do that, He empowered a single man to take on all the opposition. In a scene that seems unreal, a man called upon God to accomplish a miracle before all the doubters, and God did just that. If Elijah felt any discouragement, doubt or offense because of his circumstance, they did not manifest. What we see is faith and obedience.
When we are tasked to stand against the masses, a lone representative of God’s truth, we must be sure that our faith is properly anchored. We cannot take the opposition to God as opposition to us. We are merely vessels and representatives of someone much greater than ourselves. The battle is not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. If they hate us, it is because they hated him first. We must focus not on our opponents but on the One who calls us to be victorious when we act in his name. When we stand up for him, He will not let himself be shamed. It is about him and not about us. God will show his power and his glory without fail. We need only trust and obey. He will show himself in a miraculous way. Father, thank You for proving yourself by standing behind us when we stand up for You.