“If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21
When we hear the names of false gods like Baal, Asherah (2 Chron. 24:18), and Dagon (Judges 16:23), they seem so far removed from our world. In fact, we find it hard to understand why an entire nation would bow down to an ugly idol made of wood or stone. Baal was chief god of the pagan nations surrounding Israel. Other nations credited this hunk of stone and wood for their protection, abundance, sexuality, and procreation. But the Israelites had encountered the Lord God Himself. So why would they substitute the real God for monstrosities made of wood and stone?
Unfortunately, idol worship is quite active in our culture, too. We just call it by different names. Worship of Baal involved sexual orgies, drug concoctions, self-harm, and infant sacrifices. Does that sound familiar? God’s people wanted to hang on to just enough of the Lord to make themselves feel safe. But they also wanted to party with the pagans. Elijah was reminding them that the Lord does not share his glory. He does not compromise with evil. But He also allows us freedom to choose. If we insist upon chasing the world’s values and idols, then we can also reap the consequences. But if we want the Lord as our God, we must pledge our lives to Him alone and renounce everything associated with Baal.
Are you trying to serve two gods? What parts of your life are being dedicated to false gods like money, sex, pleasure, or control? God will not share you. If the world is god, follow it; but if the Lord is God, follow Him alone.