Monday, May 4, 2009

May 4, 2009

I am reading in I Kings 18-20 and Luke 23.

These are two very different portions of Scripture seperated by centuries, but there are several striking similarities.

First, in both cultures, truth and righteousness were being redefined. In one instance truth was being redefined by an idolotrous religion and in the other case it was being formulated by institutional religion.

Second, in both periods the people in power were the ones who were reshaping the notions of what was true and right. So, to oppose their notions of truth was to go against the full force of political and military power.

Third, during both eras there were people of conviction who held to God's truth and righteousness but who didn't want to confront the powers that be. So, in their desire for a quiet and peaceful life, they unwittingly contributed to the problem. And it the absence of a courageous and articulate leader around whom they could rally, they lacked the conviction of a compelling vision around which to rally.

Fortunely, in both instances a leader arose to champion the cause of truth and righteousness. The first was a Prophet of God's truth and righteousness named Elijah. And in Luke, it was Jesus Who WAS truth and righteousness.

Both men showed up for a showdown. And not a moment too soon!

Elijah took on 850 false prophets - 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. How would you like 850-1 odds? Those were the odds that Elijah requested - trying to make it fair because the "1" in the 850-1 odds was not Elijah it was God! He put out the call for those false prohets to meet him on Mt. Carmel. The challenge was, "Let's see who the REAL God is in Israel. If it turns out to be Baal, then we will worship Him. BUT if God wins, we will worship Him.

It was time to "put up or shut up" and all the nation was invited.God showed up, He put up and the false prophets were shut up!
Centuries later, on another mountain, Jesus waged the definitive battle for truth and righteousness. He, Who was righteousness, became sin for those who had no righteousness.
So, now we are confronted by a culture that is obsessed with redefining truth and righteousness. Truth is being turned on its head. What has traditionally been defined as right is now being ridiculed. Alternative notions of truth and rightness are being promoted by movies, media, and music as the new "liberated" way to think. Moral confusion reigns. Political correctness is the new rightness.
Who is going to battle for truth? Who is going to stand for righteousness? Where is the next Elijah? Who will represent for Jesus?
Will you stand for truth today? Will you commit to doing the right thing - every time? Leaders emerge one deed at a time, decision by decision.