September 18, 2020
Thought for the Week
Repair the Altar
1 Kings 18:33-35
The past couple weeks’ we have journeyed through hazardous air quality, evacuations, fears of losing our homes, and a continued unsettled feeling about what may come next. This week we’re taking a look at 1 Kings 18, where the prophet Elijah goes toe to toe with the prophets of Baal and Asherah atop Mount Carmel. The altar there had to be repaired by Elijah, signifying its destruction and the forgetfulness of the children of Israel how God had promised to be with them. The land had been experiencing a famine for 3 years and the children of Israel had turned to idols to meet their lives’ needs. Israel was called out for limping between gods and Elijah told them whoever sends fire from heaven to accept the sacrifice would be the one they ought to worship. When fire came down and licked up the sacrifice, water, stones, the dust, and the wood all were amazed and fell on their faces and said “The Lord, He is God.”
The altar had to be repaired, they had forgotten the Lord and in exchanged fixed their focus on other idols. How have we done a similar thing today? Do we look to our careers to meet all our needs? Do we look to gaining approval to meet all our needs? Have we shifted our focus away from what God provides over to what we can accomplish? These shifts in our focus become idols in our lives, not only distracting us from God and His promises but even being sought as a means to fill the God-shaped hole in our lives. This year seems to have been one where we are reminded of the need to repair the altar, our reminder of God’s presence and goodness, His sufficiency and steadfastness.
As the smoke continues to migrate away and the sky becomes blue once again, let’s remember what we placed on the altar of surrender as we have remembered and refocused our sights on Him. We look up to our heavenly father for strength as we continue to look out for each other.
Much love, all
-Pastor Blake Engelhart