Do these seem like strange chapters to yoke together? Not to me. 1 Corinthians 5 talks about focusing our attention, in regard to sin and judgement, not on the outside world but on ourselves and the church, putting the world’s outcome into the hands of God(v. 13).
Why not focus on this world? Well, not much substance here really. Not when God is removed from the picture. Becomes very empty. So much wasted time and money, as if God can be paved over with a layer of asphalt. The creation itself becomes the object of worship rather than the Creator. When earthly gods proliferate with the true One ignored.
The results? Emptiness…loneliness…despair. So much waste. Which leads us to 1 Kings 18. The dramatic story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The true God versus the false. God’s people had turned their backs on Him, only to embrace what was made up.
Baal was a lazy, voyeuristic god who needed human sexual activity, as much and as scurrilous as possible, to titillate him out of his lethargy into producing rains and fertile crops. You can see the slimy face of Satan hiding behind the mask of Baal. Elijah offers a choice to God’s people. Who will you follow? Yahweh or Baal?
An amazing story. But it’s verse 29 that grabs my attention. The prophets of Baal have nothing to show for all their hard labors and loud incantations. They yell at the top of their lungs, beat themselves into a bloody pulp. ‘Anyone there? Baal–where are you?’ Verse 29–‘…but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.’
No one listens. No one to speak to. The heavens… empty with an eerie silence. No good news or any at all. People today will fill their classrooms, newspapers, computer sites, political speeches with the strangest mythology, trying to make something out of nothing. If there really is nothing out there, myths will abound to fill the scary void.
If no one is listening, there will be no answers from on high. Fumes from the sewers of hell, yes. But no answers from above. No shoulder to lean upon. Not only are there no answers anymore, but no one even to pay attention to us. Little children know how terrible it is when no one seems to care, no one to watch and pay attention to them.
The choice can still be made. Say ‘YES’ to Jesus! Spend time with Him. Cast yourself at His feet and don’t move… for any earthly reason. Let Him fill you with Himself. Focus on Jesus who gives us the Holy Spirit in all His fullness. Pretty good, huh? I’d say so. The world has nothing to offer us. We’ve been given all! Jesus the Christ, our Lord and Savior! Who could ask for anything more!
Prayer: Lord, we choose you. Thank you for Jesus. Amen.