“When someone takes a stand to say what others are thinking, or do what others should do—his or her bravery emboldens all to take a stand with God—for what’s right.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 16, 2023
Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. 1 Kings 18:21
The Lord used the late Desmond Tutu, a servant of Christ, to stem racism globally and locally in South Africa. Tutu stated clearly what taking a stand for justice looks like: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,” Mr. Tutu once said. “If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. A surrendered life to Christ calls on the Lord and calls out injustice. I have to ask myself, what person or situation is being bullied by an elephant-like aggressor, and am I taking a stand to help be a part of the solution or am I passively allowing sin to win.”
Elijah boldly faced Ahab, the brazen oppressor of God’s people. The prophet of God knew he was on the King’s most wanted list, yet Elijah still took a stand against the evil forces of his day. He was in a spiritual battle that had come to the point of publicly calling out the prophets of Baal. Yet wisely, the prophet of God first called out the people of God to speak up for their faith, and remarkably, the people said nothing. Why didn’t the Lord’s people say something, or even better, do something? Fear for their lives perhaps, or maybe the intimidation of being a persecuted minority.
“At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” (1 Kings 18:36-37).
Often over the course of civilization, it just took one courageous, inconspicuous individual to make a difference in taking a stand for God’s ways: Daniel, Hannah, Mary, Paul, Augustine, Martin Luther, Fredrick Douglas, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, Jr. and in our story today, Elijah. When someone takes a stand to say what others are thinking, or do what others should do—his or her bravery emboldens all to take a stand with God—for what’s right. Where do you need to take a stand?
Are you wavering when you need to be clear about another’s character indiscretion? Are you fearful of losing your job or position? Better to lose your job and gain the respect of those who know and love you, than to act like nothing is wrong, only to delay more severe consequences. Be bold to call on the Lord in prayer, and when He reveals Himself in answered prayer, give Him the glory and call out others to follow Jesus. Don’t waver and be conformed to the culture, instead be transformed by Christ. Take a stand for God by being bold for God on difficult days!
Dr. Martin Luther King gives us a sobering reminder of injustice in his Letter from Birmingham Jail how injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Yes, the human race is all bound together by our just and loving God Almighty!
“Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God (1 Kings 18:38-39)!
Heavenly Father, where are you calling me to take a stand for you and for what you stand for, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Consider listening to Boyd’s story on a 5-minute Podcast – Unified by Jesus: A Remedy for Racism
Maverick City feat. Naomi Raine: The Story I’ll Tell
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