YOU TROUBLER

Today's devotion from 1 Kings 18.

Again we see how important perspective is. Elijah has been in hiding for quite some time. Long enough to send emissaries to neighboring tribes and kingdoms in an attempt to find him. The reason Ahab had pursued him so long and hard was due to his unwillingness to embrace the new status quo of worship. In essence, under Ahab and Jezebel, God had been forsaken for pagan idolatry centering around Baal. Elijah failed to accept the change. He refused to abandon God. He faithfully followed Him and proclaimed His statutes. For this, he was outlawed.

From the perspective of Ahab, this made Elijah the troubler of Israel. His words and beliefs would not allow the people to completely forget the God that had formed, preserved, saved, and provided for them. This caused trouble with Ahab, but not with God. What we really see happening on Mount Carmel is not just a test of God v. gods. It is a battle for perspective, philosophy, and worldview. If the people could be reminded that God was not just another in diversifying mythology, but the only in all of creation, then their perspective would change as well.

Look at Elijah's prayer in verses 36 & 37. Do you see it? Elijah wasn't playing political games or trying to prove he was right. Elijah was fighting for the very heart of Israel.

That's what made Ahab call out to him and say, "you troubler."

If fighting for the hearts of our friends and neighbors means that this culture will call us troublers, then we should embrace the title. However, that is a title that will also cause us to prepare for the ramifications. When we are "for" God, we will often find ourselves "against" certain other perspectives. We may not understand how these perspectives are even plausible, but we must remember they are the point-of-views of those blinded by darkness and confused by lies. These people are not our enemies (Eph. 6). They are the very ones for whom we risk so much and fight so hard.