1 Kings 18:20-24

Whether an election day is on your agenda this week or not, making choices will be. In the grand scheme of things, some of those decisions seem unimportant. (What’s for lunch today?) But some choices, with their resulting consequences, have the capacity to change lives. Sometimes we forget how powerful a choice can be. Elijah makes sure that Israel knows how much theirs will mean. 

Reminiscent of what Joshua told the children of Israel in Joshua 24:15 (“choose this day whom you will serve”), Elijah warns God’s people that they must declare their divine allegiance. He spells out their choices, either Yahweh or Baal, the one true God or the false one. Then he sets up a competition that, on the surface, seems totally unfair. The 450 prophets of Baal will face off against the lone prophet of God? (Apparently the prophets of Asherah were a no-show.)

In actuality this is not a contest between humans, but an opportunity for the Lord to demonstrate power. It also gives Elijah an opportunity to bring God’s wayward children back to their senses and into a right relationship with their Creator.

Why is declaring allegiance to the divine important—for the Israelites and for us? Elijah asks the people, How long will you go limping with two different opinions? (v. 21). We pay a price when we remain in limbo about what matters most. To move forward, we commit to a particular direction. To grow in spirit, we embrace a relationship with the One in whom we live, move, and have our being. Our choices have the capacity to become holy moments that can lead us to the Holy One.


In what ways am I choosing to follow God today?


God, thank you for the opportunity to choose a relationship with you. Give me wisdom to seek you, to share your compassion, and to embrace the way in which you lead. Amen.

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