FIFS : 7.26.2013

25. Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Since you are so numerous, choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first. Then call on the name of your god but don’t light the fire.” 26.  So they took the bull that he gave them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound; no one answered. Then they did their lame dance around the altar they had made. 27. At noon Elijah mocked them. He said, “Shout loudly, for he’s a god! Maybe he’s thinking it over; maybe he has wandered away possibly to relieve himself or maybe he’s on the road. Perhaps he’s sleeping and will wake up!” 28. They shouted loudly, and cut themselves with knives and spears, according to their custom, until blood gushed out on them. 29. All afternoon, they kept on raving until the offering of the evening sacrifice, but there was no sound, no one answered, no one paid attention.” 1 Kings 18:25-29

This is perhaps one of the most familiar battles in the Old Testament. It is a battle between the pagan prophets of the evil King Ahab and God’s man Elijah. The activity and worship on both sides of this battle has everything to do with the condition of the heart on both sides of the battle. On one hand you have the prophets of Baal, the Canaanite god. They were very loud and boisterous in their worship: jumping around, loudly calling out to their god, and cutting themselves to entice a reaction. On the other hand, you have Elijah, prophet to the One True God. He uttered very few words, offered a brief prayer, and worshipped without drawing attention to himself. The fire fell on the side of the true worshipper. True worship has nothing to do with activity or what we may “do” to get God’s attention. True worship has everything to do with the condition and attitude of the individual’s heart toward God. In his book, “The Root of the Righteous”, A.W. Tozer makes this point clearly. He wrote:

“What a man is must be shown to be more important than what he does. While the moral quality of any act is imparted by the condition of the heart, there may be a world of religious activity which arises not from within, but from without and which would seem to have little or no moral content.”

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