Summary: Proposition: Because Christ is the only acceptable Mediator, you must give scriptural worship to Him regardless of whether you feel you were enriched or not.
How Can Authentic Worship Be Restored?
Proposition: Because Christ is the only acceptable Mediator, you must give scriptural worship to Him regardless of whether you feel you were enriched or not.
When Solomon came to the throne there was godly leadership, peace and unity in the nation of Israel. During this time of prosperity Solomon assembled a workforce of 200,000 people to build the temple in seven years; followed by one of the greatest moments in the history of the nation the glory of the Lord filling that temple. But, success breed complacency, thus Solomon slid into indulgence and doing what was popular (rather than what was right).
Solomon used his powerful position to support his own indulgence – 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Ki 11:3). His heart was turned after other gods. The great tragedy was that many of the Israelites followed his example. His relationships became a snare to him. “Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab” (1 Ki 11:7) on a hill east of Jerusalem. “…and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.”
At the end of Solomon’s reign there were many false gods of the surrounding nations being worshipped near or in Jerusalem. To the people in the region now the God of Israel was just one among many gods. It was the beginning of a multi-faith society. True worship was all but lost in the nation.
Jeroboam the ruler of the northern 10 tribes understood the cohesive power of religion. He established his own centers of worship, provided golden calves, and made worship convenient and fun. He used religion for his own benefit.
That brings us to our passage and King Ahab, “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him (1 Ki 16:30)”. In 70 years, Israel had gone from being united in their worship of Jehovah to a nation confused and divided with people assuming that all religions were essentially the same and the God you worshipped was a matter of personal choice. Sincerity is what mattered. Does this scenario SOUND FAMILIAR?
Consider a nation that experienced the glory of the Lord filling the temple, has now lost the knowledge of who God really is an how to worship Him. The location of this passage is called "El Muhraka," literally, "the place of burning." It is a level plateau halfway up Mount Carmel where a large crowd could have easily gathered. Just below the plateau the Brook Kishon still flows. How can authentic worship be restored?
I. You must submit to revealed truth! v. 20-21
Deviant worship will violate a biblical absolute.
1Ki 17:24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.
A. Worship the LORD because He is God.
1Ki 18:21 … if the LORD be God, follow him:
1. The people were challenged to choose between truth and error.
They thought all religions were equal; it was a matter of personal choice…your personal preferences.
They wanted to combine the worship of Jehovah and Baal, and not to assume a hostile attitude towards Jehovah by the worship of Baal; and were therefore obliged to keep silence under this charge of infatuated halving, since they knew very well from the law itself that Jehovah demanded worship with a whole and undivided heart (Deu_6:4-5).
2. You are challenged to choose between truth and error.
1Ki 18:21 How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.
1Ch 16:29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
B. Worship the LORD in response to truth.
1. Truth must be proclaimed.
key theme: Suffering as a Christian
1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
key theme: Resurrection appearances of Jesus (15-19 teaching Peter).
Joh 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
2. Truth must be submitted to.
key theme: The externals of religion (610 B.C. – 25 yrs before Babylonian captivity )