Week of Monday, October 19 ­­– Saturday, October 24
Let God Be God—Man as Chaplain
When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?”  And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father's house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals.  Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table.”  So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel.  And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. —1 Kings 18:17-21 (ESV)

It was “fake news.” The drought wasn’t Elijah’s fault. He wasn’t causing trouble in Israel. Yet from a human perspective, there wasn’t anyone in a position to help Elijah set the record straight (v. 22). Elijah was in a tough spot—as tough as they come. See, Elijah was facing the most evil king Israel had ever seen. Ahab was married to the more famous (and even more evil) Jezebel, a wicked woman who had promoted the pagan worship of Baal and Asherah and slaughtered Elijah’s fellow prophets.

In fact, it wouldn’t have been surprising for King Ahab to order Elijah’s death on the spot. The prophet knew that. Yet Elijah didn’t shrink back from his charge to call the people to make a decision about their allegiance to God. The reason? Elijah’s goal wasn’t to clear his own name. His goal was to give glory to God’s name. So, in an act of pure faith and courage, Elijah asked God to show His power to these wavering people.
Notice that Elijah did not offer the crowd a carefully crafted speech to dispute the fake news or an elaborate set of proofs for the existence of God. He built a stone altar, offered the LORD a sacrifice, and called out to Him in public prayer. Verse 36 tells us that Elijah simply prayed, “Let it be known that you are God in Israel and I am your servant.” Then Elijah stepped out of the way and let the LORD show himself as the one true God.

And God did just that. Fire fell from heaven on the altar of sacrifice in an awesome display of God’s presence and power. The result? The people reaffirmed their allegiance to the LORD, Elijah was vindicated, and God was glorified. At the end of the day, the only fake news was that Baal and Asherah were “real gods.” Furthermore, all their prophets were false prophets. Baal faced certain judgment.
Men, this story serves as a great reminder that our role as Chaplains is to publicly pray to God, fearlessly point our people to God, and then humbly step aside and let Him prove it. Let God be God!

  • Don’t be surprised when the godless in our culture blame problems on Christians, like when King Ahab blamed the drought on the Prophet Elijah. As Chaplain and Instructor, it is your job to interpret current events in light of Scripture and offer God’s perspective on what is happening as a way of pushing back on the “fake news” from the culture about us.
  • Elijah stood alone as God’s spokesman against all the powers of the established government and pagan religion, and that took great courage. How can you be more courageous as God’s advocate, especially with family members who oppose your stance?
  • Elijah had a legendary prayer life, but as James says, he was: “a man with a nature like ours.” So how about your prayer life? It starts with an attitude of humility that says to God: “I can’t, never said I could. You can, always said you would. And I am going to let you.” This week, let God be God.