A devotional thought from Christian George for “Israel”
When missionaries bring the gospel to a new place or to a new people, one of two things usually happens. Either the people embrace God’s Word and abandon their idols or they abandon God’s Word and embrace their idols. People either cling to Christ or they cling to their constructed substitutes for Christ.
The decision of whether to embrace the gospel or the idols has significant and far-reaching ramifications. In the Books of 1 and 2 Kings, we see exactly how significant these ramifications can be.
Because of Solomon’s idolatry, the kingdom of Israel was split in two. God raised up prophets to call His people to repentance, but the Northern Kingdom persisted in rebellion. The Lord upheld His justice by scattering the tribes of the Northern Kingdom among the nations.
It’s easy to imagine something like this happening today in the jungles of the Amazon or in the African bush—somewhere far away where idols are obvious and customs are foreign. But idolatry isn’t relegated to the Southern hemisphere. Nor is idolatry relegated to the Old Testament. Every day, each of us is faced with the decision to follow Christ or stay idolatrous. Go ahead and take a look at one of the passages for this week’s discussion, 1 Kings 18:20-39, and see what you can learn about idolatry and faithfulness from Elijah and the nation of Israel.
Pause and Reflect
• How would you characterize an idol?
• How would you characterize a prophet?
• Do idols exist today? Do prophets? What does Scripture say?
• In your life, when have you encountered an idol?
• In what ways can God use His people to speak prophetically from His Word in order to destroy our idolatries?