December 13, 2013


“If Yahweh is the God, follow Him!” (1 Kings 18:21, from the Hebrew). In Elijah’s awkwardly polarizing theology, deity deserves the definite article. He is pulling Israel back to the future, a new page, a new year, a commitment to worshipping the God.

Their Baalist behavior, he knows, draws on generations of genius, continuously repeated observation, and vast resource investment. Baalist explanations about how everything happens have overrun the world. The nation’s established authorities, its royal upper crust, and the masses by the numbers live and prosper, or starve to death, according to Baalist theories on why drought happens, where rain comes from, and the mechanism for causing it (sexual orgies in hillside groves).

Today Elijah will confound the theories with a test that is outside the scope of Baalist laboratories. And rather than acknowledge the smallness of their knowledge, and the limited application of their theories, the Baalists go along with a test they are not prepared for, though they hope to be next time (Rev. 13:13). Elijah’s conditions are simple—No drones, no stealth bombers, no manipulation: “You ask Baal, and I ask Yahweh. The god who makes fire fall out of the sky, He is the God” (see 1 Kings 18:24).

Through the day the Baalists beg. Nothing happens. Baal cannot break out of his little nature cycle, because Baal is nothing. He cannot love; he cannot convert; he cannot forgive; he cannot save. He is nothing but a theory people use to explain what they see. Yahweh can hurl the fire down—fire to consume sacrifices, and purge people’s souls. Yahweh can love, and forgive; Yahweh can convert; Yahweh can save. Yahweh can do everything. “Yahweh,” the people cry, “Yahweh, He is the God! Yahweh, He is the God!”

Is He? If Yahweh is the God, follow Him!