Thursday, May 17, 2007

Are You Among Those Special "Reserves?"

"Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him." --- 1 Kings 19:18

He found himself in the pit of deep despair – he was on the run and trying to hide – a very powerful and wicked woman was after his head, literally!

Elijah had just won a major victory over the false prophets of a heathen deity named Baal. A part of that victory involved the execution of those false prophets. Queen Jezebel, who had been instrumental in importing Baal worship into the northern kingdom of Israel, had vowed to remove Elijah’s head from his shoulders due to the major blow he had inflicted on the institution of Baal worship!

And so as the prophet engaged in a major self-pity experience and felt the best thing for him now was to simply die and have his miserable existence terminated, God dramatically revealed that Elijah was not the only faithful one left, as he had led himself to believe. "Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him," said God! In the midst of all the confrontations which had taken place and the challenging of the heathen prophets, Elijah had failed to recognize the existence of God’s “reserve” force.

In a 21st Century republic known as the United States of America God has His “reserves” that have refused to bow the knee to the modern Baals, which are manifested in many forms. Consider some of those Baals in our culture to which millions of knees are bowing every day -----

  • the Baal of pleasure which now dominates the weekends, including the day which was set apart for the worship of the true and living God Who created this mighty universe by spoken command and Who loves us humans so much that He gave His own Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for our sins so we could be forgiven and be citizens in His Kingdom forever. Less than half of U. S. citizens are willing to go to a place of worship on Sundays!

  • the Baal of money which now enslaves a huge multitude of individuals as well as a growing number of corporations. This brand of Baal has the unique power to fan into raging flames a vicious appetite called greed. But it’s not limited to individuals nor corporations headed up by CEO’s who are driven by a desire to chalk up record breaking profits year after year, but elected officials enjoy sticking their thumbs into the public money pie with constant scheming as to how the citizens can be bled for more and more revenue!

  • the Baal of entertainment, talk-show, mass media and political celebrities. There is a wide variety of personalities here as well as the subject matter which may be expelled from the mouths of the same. The problem is that millions follow this one or that one and regard every word spoken by the one to whom they are ever loyal as “gospel truth.” Devotees of these celebrities are much more concerned about what their “idols” have to say about anything than what Almighty God has to say – and He does have a lot to say about the most critical issues of life on a personal level as well as on the collective level! Even among those who profess to be Christian in their faith there is all too often a confession that they do not spend the time studying the Bible as they feel they should! It is the God-inspired record of the Bible which is the measuring stick as to whether members of the aforementioned group are true or false in whatever statements and claims they make about anything.

  • the Baal of sexual immorality which is a very cruel and merciless deity as it exploits the part of our being that expresses its cravings at a very young and tender age. Thanks to perverted thinking, reasoning and example setting by adults over time, our young are now constantly exposed to damnable teachings that sexual experiences under just about any condition are good – you, and you alone determine what your sexual preferences should be and how to be sexually intimate with whoever and whenever! God’s revelation about the boundaries of expressing and experiencing our sexuality are totally rejected. The evidence is overwhelming that our culture is resolved to take a fatal plunge into the pool of disaster when it comes to handling God’s sacred gift of human sexuality!

  • the Baal of humanism which attempts to convince each one of us that we humans can handle all the issues of life be they personal and individual, or at the collective level. At times scientific advancements coupled with new breakthroughs in technology have been quite impressive and a person can be persuaded that we no longer need a “crutch of superstition” consisting of belief in a “higher power” which has whatever name you may give to that deity. However, along the way as we choose to travel this road, human life often becomes very cheap and expendable. And so there is no real moral sensitivity at the national level and no real concern that we have destroyed millions of unborn children over the past few decades!

  • the Baal of “church-ianity” – the word is probably not in the dictionary, but it’s a way of best describing the infiltration of the church by forces of compromise, “political correctness,” unbelief and brazen immorality! Those in a number of church groups who hold to a Bible based faith are being pressured to compromise the faith (e.g. that Jesus is NOT the exclusive way of salvation), to speak a certain language so that no person is ever offended, to doubt the mighty acts of God in times past as well as what God has specifically planned for the future, and to accept without question sexual behavior patterns which God has clearly condemned! Constantly through legislative actions or declarations from church leaders the exhortation is to bow to the modern Baal and kiss him!

Somewhere scattered throughout the 50 states that comprise this republic is a minority number of persons – the ones who have not bowed the knee to the 21st Century version of Baal in its many grotesque forms – they are God’s special “reserves!” Are you one of them?

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. --- 2 Timothy 4:7,8

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