by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Elijah's name is his mission: "My God is the LORD." Elijah teaches us the meaning of repentance by the removal of idolatry. Unless we obey the Word, God's blessings don't descend. Instead, the land will experience a terrible drought.
1 Kings 18:25–29
At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said .... "Perhaps he is deep in thought" (1 Kings 18:27).
For hours Baal's prophets prayed and danced around the altar. At high noon Elijah poked fun at them. That drove the prophets wild. They worked themselves into a frenzy, dancing and slashing themselves with swords. Finally they got exhausted. Their bloodspattered bodies were caked with dust.
As a rule, we don't make fun of adherents of other religions. Jesus was kind to the people of Samaria, who had wrong notions. He took compassion on a woman in Sidon, where the worship of Baal originated. Paul did not mock the pagans when he preached in Greece.
He looked for points of contact between false religions and the gospel (Acts 17:22–31).
Here, however, in the country the LORD God gave to his people, fools are screaming to an idol. So Elijah mocks them, just as God himself mocks people who think they can climb onto his throne. "The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the LORD scoffs at them" (Ps. 2:4).
The Word of God is to be feared—perhaps especially when it sounds sarcastic. When Elijah and Isaiah mock the folly of idolatry (Isa. 44), the people receive their final warning. The prophets' derision is a sign that Israel's sin has become intolerable.
Elijah is God's echo. In Psalm 2:4 God laughs at the fools who oppose him, but in verse 5 God "rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath." Baal's prophets are going to die.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version