The Speaking God and the Silent God

Michael Wilcock

READ : 1 Kings 18:17-29

. . . you troubler of Israel? (v. 17)

Ahab, not Elijah, was the real troubler of Israel. The land was suffering because he had “forsaken the commandments of the Lord.” He rejected what God said: the theme underlies the whole story of Elijah the prophet, the mouthpiece of God’s word.

The drought is about to end. But Israel must not suppose that when the rains come it will be because Baal is back in action. On the contrary, it will happen in such a way as to discredit the false god publicly and completely.

Ahab agrees to a mass meeting, a confrontation between the prophets of Baal and Yahweh. He knows that Yahweh’s man will be hugely outnumbered by the prophets of Baal. But the question is not which deity has the bigger following, but which one will actually speak? Two sets of beliefs, two altars with sacrificial animals on them: which God/gods will answer by sending supernatural fire to burn up the offerings?

Those who have abandoned the words of Yahweh cannot get a single word out of Baal. His devotees rave all day long, but there is “no voice, no answer, and no response.”

How much our own society must face the fact that its cherished gods cannot speak to its deepest needs.


Lord, challenge our world with the questions it can’t answer.