“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”
I Kings 18:21
This classic confrontation between Elijah and the false prophets warns us against indecision and compromise and challenges us to single- minded commitment. There were eight hundred and fifty false prophets that ate at the table of the notoriously wicked queen Jezebel. They were not true prophets, but hirelings. They did not stand for the truth in a day of perversion, rebellion, and idolatry. These false prophets, along with all of Israel, were called to assemble on Mt. Carmel.
Elijah succinctly called for the people of God to come to a decision. Who were they going to serve? The man of God asked, “How long halt ye between two opinions?” They were guilty of going back and forth between God and Baal. Elijah charged them to make up their minds and serve the true God. We still need men of God who will issue a clear call to devotion and dedication to Christ and His Word. It seems that the answer would be simple and the response would be swift. However, the text states, “the people answered him not a word.” In deafening silence, they refused to decide.
We need Elijahs today to call us to definite decisions and commitments. Far too many who profess to be Christians are like the Israelites, satisfied to “halt ye between two opinions.” They claim a love for God at one moment and demonstrate a love for the world the next. This is not true devotion. To be partially devoted is not to be devoted at all. This kind of double-mindedness is typical in our day of ecumenism and compromise. Preachers are comfortable mixing worldliness with worship and humanism with truth. In an effort to please the Lord and not offend sinners, unholy alliances are formed.
If the prophets in the days of Elijah were true men of God, they would not have been welcome at Jezebel’s table. The result of this ungodly course is not spiritual, but wicked and unacceptable to God. The Israelites were unwilling to stand for the truth. Elijah said, “if the LORD be God, follow him.” We know that the Lord is God, and we ought to follow Him. May these words challenge us to follow the Lord at all cost. We are to be willing to buy the truth and stand in the old paths, regardless of our popularity or acceptance.