2020 Lent devotion #19 – The prophets of Baal
Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. (1 Kings 18:25-28)
The contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal is a bloody affair. Apparently, according to their custom, the way to get your pagan god’s attention was to cut yourself again and again. What a mess! And it was all for nothing. No one answered. No one paid attention.
We all do things to get someone to pay attention to us. Little kids call out, “Watch me!” Or they’ll act out. Just to be noticed. We’ll raise our voices, do silly and outrageous things, pick a fight or reach out to touch someone so they’ll pay attention to us.
We don’t have to do that with God. We’re never off his radar. He never slumber or sleeps. He’s keenly aware of our desires, needs, wants and fears. He knows our thoughts, hears our cries, listens to our prayers and goes to search for us when we wander off and get lost.
Christ’s mission to seek and save the lost meant that his blood would be poured out for us on the cross. A soldier would shove a spear into his side to make sure he was dead. Blood and water poured out. That’s the one true God!
Lord, you made me, you saved me, you hear me. You are my God. Amen.