The God Who Pays Attention

1 Kings 18:22-29 (NIV)

Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”

Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.

Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

Elijah bet on the one true God.  His faith in God and his confidence in God was so great that he laid down the gauntlet and challenged the 450 prophets of Baal.  They called upon the name of their god over and over.  They did everything to get his attention, but their efforts were in vain.  1 Kings says that “…there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kings 18:29, NIV).  

Sometimes, we try to please the “gods” in our lives.  These gods are success and wealth and status.  We sacrifice to them and yet they do not answer us. We try to get their attention, but they do not respond with satisfaction.  We do so much to try and arouse their interest in us, but they are not paying attention.  We think that money will make us happy, but it only makes us greedy.  We think that success will satisfy, but it is fleeting and does not respond the way we wish it would.  We think that status will make us feel better about ourselves, but no one pays attention because they’re out trying to make a name for themselves as well.  

All the while, the one true God loves us and wants to satisfy our every longing.  He doesn’t want to give us wealth to hoard.  He wants to bless us to be a blessing to others.  He doesn’t want us to succeed in mere earthly terms.  He wants us to win the race that leads to eternal life.  God doesn’t want us to seek earthly status and greatness in the eyes of others.  He wants us to be humble and by humbling ourselves, He will lift us up.  

The gods of this world are dead and they’re not listening to us.  They will not respond to our desperate attempts to rouse them.  They will not satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts and souls.  They will only leave us empty and longing for more.  Do not waste your life trying to please the gods of wealth, status and success.  Instead, do as Jesus said to do and seek the Kingdom of God first and His righteousness.  If you will, God will provide everything you need and He’ll bless you with even more.  

PRAYER: Father God, I ask that you will satisfy the deepest longings of my heart and soul.  Thank You for Your loving care.  Thank You for paying attention to me.  I do not deserve Your attention for I am weak and frail.  I have sinned time and again and yet You love me anyway.  I cannot express my gratitude with mere words.  Help me to live it out today.  Amen.


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