I was reading the story of God’s appearance at Mount Carmel to my daughters tonight. There was a verse that caught my eye in a new way.
Both the prophets of Baal and Elijah build and altar and set up their sacrifice. Knowing full well who is truly God, Elijah allows the prophets of Baal to go first. He then sits back and watches for a few hours, takes a nap and does various other things to pass the time. Meanwhile, the prophets of Baal are whipping themselves into a frenzy, literally. They start cutting themselves and yelling and screaming and Elijah starts to let them know he hasn’t left and encourages them to get a bit crazier. And they do. Then about supper time they finally tire themselves out and Elijah takes his turn and here is the verse that hit me.
1 kings 18:30 “Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down.”
He repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. He watched earlier as the prophets of Baal in an effort to please their god, tore down the altar of the Lord. He sat back and watched as the sacrifice he had worked hard to prepare, had been attacked and strewn about the top of Mount Carmel. He sat back and watched as his sacrifice was trampled on, perhaps spit on, and destroyed. (maybe I am taking a bit of licence here.) Then after watching and waiting he quietly, repaired what was broken and offered up a simple prayer for God to be revealed. And BOOM revealed God was.
I think sometimes we get so caught up and busy protecting the church from harm, that we miss out on making sure the Glory of God is revealed. The church here on earth was not established by Jesus to be defended or protected. It was established to reveal the Glory of God. Yet we spend more time worrying about protecting it, than we do about if Christ is going to be revealed by it. We attempt to stop the prophets of Baal, instead of realizing they will soon tire and the Church that Christ established will still be there.
Let’s take the time to build the church not defend the church. What ever the church is facing, the church will still be standing even after the storm. It may seem a bit beat up or bruised but the God who revealed Himself on the top of Mount Carmel, The God who brought us from death to life, that God, He is the one who sustains His church.