And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention. 1 Kings 18:29
Day after day. No rain. Week after week. Receding water. Month after month. Increased dryness. Year after year. Shriveling hope. The people of Israel were in drought. Over a period of three years their most essential resource was being extracted from them. This didn’t just feel like a season of wilderness, it initiated a reality of survival. What was going to keep them alive? Who was going to defend them? Where were they to turn for hope?
As humans, when we go through periods of dryness and when our essential resources don’t work as they once did, we choose tactics out of survival. We try coping – doing whatever makes us feel better, even if just for a moment. We try fighting – doing whatever gets us what we need, even if it puts others in danger. We try running – doing whatever keeps us safe, even if it limits our wellbeing. We all choose tactics when we need to survive, and this was happening with the people of Israel in 1 Kings 18. God’s chosen people were hiding in caves (1 Kings 18:4), some were killing one another (1 Kings 18:13), while others were seeking out new sources to make them feel just a little bit better about life in the drought. But, on Mount Carmel, their tactics were exposed.
When our human survival tactics finally face a showdown with the God of the universe, we may or may not look crazy, but we will always realize our misplaced hope. When we attempt survival on our own, we will inevitably mis-place our faith, and our tactics will leave us in despair. When we seek after new trends or new sources of satisfaction, they will begin to replace our hope in the Almighty God. But, these sources don’t love us. They will never be able to answer our cry for hope. Hope alone comes from worshipping the Kings above all other Kings. In survival, we must cling to him alone for our hope. God alone loves us and will be powerful enough to come through.
Today, affirm the God who is above all other gods and our desperate tactics. Declare your hope in Yahweh by worshiping him through the song, “Yes I Will.”
By Yvonne Biel