Putting God to the Test

1 Kings 18:17-39

When you see the title, you might think of the words of Jesus in Matthew 4:7—“Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”  What Jesus said was in the temptations by Satan and Jesus being dared to presume upon God.  Putting God to the test would be quoting the verse, “But my God shall supply all your needs,” the quitting you job, staying at  home and expect the provisions to roll on in.  That is presumptive arrogance, not faithful dependence. 

In the text this week we encounter a familiar story of Elijah confronting the prophets of Baal.  He proposes a test, the god that will answer by fire will be our God.  This test was to show the lack of power in the god Baal, and the powerful work of the Living God.

We do need to put God to the test.  We do that by living according to God’s word and following God’s ways.  We do live in a society that is floundering between many decisions.  Too often the decisions are framed as being either hard right or hard left.  But there is a better way, the way of Christ, the way of love, the way of obedience to the One Living God.  This is how we let our light shine.  When we show the blessings, the peace, the joy of following Christ, and the overall benefit of living a moral and righteous life, then we confront this confused world with the reality of God.

Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.”  This is not given to us for Stewardship Sunday, but it is God inviting us to test him in our finances.  Putting God first in our finances, is a way to show that the Living God works in us to bless us for our obedience.  I often wonder who is the Master of most Christians, the Card or God?

Pastor Greg