“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21
Elijah the man of God had asked his countrymen a question that has remained very relevant question to us today. The question is, how long will you waver between two opinions? And today it is the same question that men of God should keep throwing to our contemporaries. Unfortunately, few men of God do that, for many who also call themselves men of God actually are wavering in two opinions, either to serve God or to serve pride, wealth and pleasures. I want to ask the same to you today, how long will you waver between two opinions?
D. L Moody, a nineteenth century preacher was bothered by someone who had a wavering faith, someone who became impatient of the hope in God and asked Moody “no one has come back, and we don’t know what is in the future. It is all dark, and how can we be sure?” Moody was very thoughtful in his response, Moody answered this man;
“Thank God! Christ came down from heaven, and I would rather have Him coming as he does right from the bosom of the Father, than anyone else. We can rely on what Christ says, and He says, ‘He that believeth on Me shall not perish, but have everlasting life.’ Not that we are going to have it when we die, but right here to-day.” – D. L Moody
Israel’s divided allegiance at Elijah’s time
Like the man who asked Moody who was at a state of wander, the Israelites at Elijah’s time wandered in two opinions, at one time pledging allegiance to God and at the other, forgetting God and serving Baal. Ahab who was king of Israel at this time has been described as a king who has “more evil in the eye of the LORD than any of those before him.” (1 Kings 18:30).
Ahab’s heart was taken away from God especially after having married Jezebel, daughter of the king of the Sidonians, and “began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.” It was the king who first drifted away from God, since a fish begins to rot from the head, his subjects soon fell short, they equally were drifted to Baal.
At his time Ahab has recruited about four hundred and fifty prophets for Baal, while persecuting the prophet of God. Influenced by his wife Jezebel, Ahab lost his religious heritage in serving the God of heaven, Jehovah, the Almighty. When the godly king from Judah, Jehoshaphat came to aid him in fighting Aram, Ahab king of Israel’s view of God and his prophet was very strange. When he was asked whether there was no prophet to inquire about the battle, he shameless answered,
“There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” (1 Kings 22:8)
Look at how such a king who hated the man of God, expecting the man of God to speak good of him even when hardly a scratch of good can be found on him. When at one time he went down at Carmel to meet Elijah, he looked at him as a troubler of Israel, just because Elijah stood pointing people to God and God alone. Yet it was him who is causing trouble in Israel by abandoning the LORD and his commands in preference to Baal. Elijah’s question, how long will you waver between two opinions was very timely, for Ahab and his people drifted away from God yet wanting to be called the children of God.
Wavering in our time
We are no better than Ahab and his people. We are living at a time when there are people who like Ahab set themselves against the will and work of God, we are living at a time when those who disengage in believing God is increasing daily. We are living at a time when people think God is dead, or God is distant, not involved in human affairs anymore, a time when people think God doesn’t exist. The blow is even worst for those who continue to call themselves Christians yet are not.
Ravi Zacharias, an apologist of our time has a very interesting view on the fact that humanity without God is trapped in a divided opinion, trapped in the quicksand of the absence of objective, he says,
“For example, if there is no God, what does it mean to be human? Who are we in our essence? If we don’t know what it is to be human, what is humanism? There are seven different humanistic theories of who we are, from the one end of Huxley to Ayn Rand to Joseph Fletcher. You just have all of these various definitions from ego-centric humanism to love is the ethic; on what basis? So we are now standing with our feet planted firmly in mid-air. I would say, while theoretically a person may block God out, logically there will be a breakdown because ultimately all enunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind. And if that moral doctrine is not absolute then the definer himself becomes undefined. That’s what we are living with – an undefined definer giving us definitions for our course, and we are being trapped in the quicksand of the absence of objective truth.” – Ravi Zacharias.
How long shall we waver from two opinions? Especially us in the very household of God, do we let the agonistics, those who set themselves against the gospel put us in a wavering state? Shall we be able to overcome deceptive voices that pushes us to syncretism, unbelief, idolatry, materialism, and all sorts of things that puts us at a wavering state? Shall we worship God in truth and spirit for his grace? Shall we deny anything that is less than the gospel that we have for so long thought it is the full gospel? Shall we like Moody says believe the report of Christ, documented in the Gospels without doubt? Shall we allow an absolute other than relativism such that we are defined by the definer as Ravi puts forth? How long shall we waver in two opinions?
Jesus wouldn’t like to see disciples trapped in two opinions, he one time told his disciples
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV).
It is time for us to define our opinion, it is time for us to drop the other opinions and hang on one, either to serve God or serve other things other than God. It is time that we determine to believe and really believe in God other than just trying out whether it works to trust and believe him. It is time that we solely decide to belong to the Way such that Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life is our Lord, that in him, we shall find the way to eternity, the truth the world seeks, and life eternal. It is time that I challenge you to reconsider your ways with the Lord, is there a divided allegiance?
This message is written by Rev. Julius Izza Tabi who is a pastor in the Anglican Church of Uganda, Ma’di & West Nile Diocese. Julius served as an assistant Chaplain and lecturer at the Arua Campus of the Uganda Christin University. He is currently a candidate of Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet alias the Norwegian School of Theology, in Oslo, Norway and is an assisting Priest at St. Edmund’s Anglican Church, in Oslo. For any pastoral assistance or support of this ministry you can email Rev. Julius you can also reach Rev. Julius here.