Elijah Repairs the Altar of the LORD

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 17-24, 30-32a
Text: Verses 30-32a

You see, idols will take over our lives if we let them. Remember for us, we are talking about things like money and pleasure and comfort when we are talking about idols. Idols are things that take the place of God in our lives – often they are things that are good in themselves, but they become idols if they become God-substitutes. The broken-down altar teaches us that if we are not fighting against idolatry in our lives, the idols will take over – they will squeeze out the worship of God.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Futility of Trusting Idols

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 17-29
Text: Verses 23-29

And so it is easy for us to place our trust in the things we can see rather than in the God whom we can’t see. The only way we know that everything that we need comes from God is from the Bible. God tells us in his word that he is our Shepherd and our provider. But we know that by faith. We do not know that empirically. God’s involvement in our lives and in the weather and in the economy is not something that we can discern on the basis of experience. We must believe it on the basis of God’s word.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

“Limping Between Two Different Opinions”

Idolatry is anything which takes the place of God in our lives – anything that we love more than God – anything that we trust more than God – anything that we look to, to satisfy our souls more than God. Romans 1:25 gives a short definition of idolatry when it says of mankind in sin that they “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

“As the LORD, the God of Israel lives.”

There are a lot of warnings in Scripture. But these warnings are motivated by God’s grace and mercy and they all anticipate Jesus and his mission because it is in him that we escape the punishments that are the consequences of sin.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

“You shall have no other gods before me.” (3)

If the true God is our God, then serving and pleasing him is our greatest desire and we enjoy God’s gifts in moderation while being grateful to God. But if we make a god of our appetites and desires then satisfying them is more of a focus and priority than serving God is and so our life is dominated by serving our appetites.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

“You shall have no other gods before me.” (2)

God is to fill the horizon of our lives. God demands literally everything from us. Having God as our God means that our lives are not our own. It means that no part of our lives are our own. It means that we exist for God. It means that every second of our lives and every thought that we think and every thing that we do is to be directed by love for God and directed to pleasing God. Any time that is not happening we are breaking the first commandment.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra