The Challenge

“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 1 Kings 18:18-19

Elijah confronted Ahab about some of his sins, and then commands the King to bring all of Israel plus the prophets of Baal and Asherah to Mount Carmel. This is a classic showdown: good guy meets bad guy and issues a challenge. At this point we don’t know what precisely Elijah is challenging but we can easily surmise it has something to do with the 800 prophets.

We all face challenges in life. Very few of them are as dramatic and “in your face” as Elijah’s, but they are nonetheless real. When was the last time you were challenged (not badgered or nagged or scolded) to go deeper spiritually? When was the last time a friend challenged you regarding something you said or did? Or when was the last time you lovingly challenged a fellow Brother or Sister in something he/she had done or said?

Initially we don’t like these challenges because it exposes weaknesses (even as a challenger, it exposes a weakness of not loving the person enough to tell the truth). And yet, what does Scripture teach: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

These opportunities come along almost daily. Pray that you’ll have the courage to do the right thing when the time comes.

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