The best things in Life are simple
It is poplar in today’s television culture to do shows on supernatural themes. One such show is Sleepy Hollow. It is a show which mixes the fictional story of Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow with oddly the book of Revelation and two figures in the book known as witnesses. If anyone has paid attention to any of the shows or movies dealing with such themes they would know that Hollywood deliberately magnifies witchcraft to any exalted state above the word of God represented by someone in the church. It is one of the ways demonic spirits who undoubtedly operate in concert with these shows let it be known that they have little to no regard for the church today. In their world supernatural bad is always prevailing over simpleton church folks who are more often than not characterized as impotent and intolerant or mean spirited bigots. Also, in these shows as with Sleepy Hollow they are always trying to prevent the forces of evil such as Moloch in Sleepy Hollow from taking over the world. However, contrary to all these Hollywood shows Satan is not trying to bring on the apocalypse as it would not serve his interest. He like his human cohorts are vested in the continuation of this age in order to prevent his demise and the end to their rule and reign.
What is also noticeable in these shows is that in the use of witchcraft, the witches always have to use a big book of spells and do all sorts of incantations to achieve whatever they are desiring. This is in contrast to prophetic speaking. The last article looked at Moses and his prophetic speaking and now I will look at Elijah. Elijah has always been a most mysterious character to me because he seems to come out of nowhere, but when he does come he comes at time when Israel is in spiritual apostasy-that is they have a king over them who is idolatrous to his core and they are serving Baal. The king that has led Israel in their idolatry is Ahab and his wife Jezebel and times for the prophets of Israel are particularly hard, but where I will pick up the story is Elijah’s confrontation of the people of Israel and his challenge to the prophets of Baal. Once again I will summarize the major happenings and highlight the pertinent verse.
As stated before, Israel under the leadership of another awful king and his odious wife is serving Baal much as would be expected to God’s displeasure. In his first example of prophetic speaking where he declared, “As the Lord God of Israel lives before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years except at my word, “ (I Kings 17:1) Elijah is now back before King Ahab into a third year drought. He tells Ahab to gather all of Israel on Mount Carmel along with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table. (I Kings 18: 18,19). He then asks an obviously schizophrenic Israel, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.” (vs.21) Elijah next lays down the challenge to the many prophets of Baal regarding calling upon their god and he upon God to consume a bull by fire.
One would think that if you have 850 prophets calling upon a deity, that would get his attention, but this did not happen for the prophets of Baal. Like the witches in Hollywood shows they went through all sorts of gyrations until at one point they were cutting themselves with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. (vs. 28). Except unlike the exalted witches in Hollywood their demons did not show up to validate their claims. On the other hand, Elijah stood patiently by from morning to noon one against the many even throwing in a taunt or two waiting for Baal to make an appearance. Nada. Then to make the situation even more challenging for himself, Elijah not only cut up the bull on the altar of the Lord, but he drenched it with four waterpots including the wood. When show time came, Elijah prayed, “Hear me, O Lord hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (vs. 33, 37). Without hesitation the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, wood, stone, dust and it licked up the water that was in the trench. (vs.38).
The difference between prophetic speaking and the kind associated with witches and demons is that the prophetic person or people do not need to take extra measures to get God to answer if He has sent you. It may appear that you need to do more or that it is too simple just to speak, but what you witness with people who are aligned with the kingdom of darkness is the fallen state of sweat by the brow. They must toil to get what they want out of the demonic world, whereas in God’s kingdom the spoken word is enough just as it was with creation. Moses was not allowed to go over into the promised land because he forgot this principle.
In a typical case of Israel’s rebellion, the people grumbled about being thirsty in the desert of Zin and God spoke to Moses and Aaron and told him to speak to the rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. (Numbers 20:7). But Moses instead struck the rock twice with his staff but before doing that he exclaimed to the people, “ Listen you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock.” (vs. 11) Here is where Moses problem begin. First, there is no “we”. There is the Lord. At this point Moses went from acting on behalf of the Lord to acting on behalf of himself and substituted the arm of the flesh for the spirit. God equated this with a lack of trust in him and honoring of him as holy in the sight of the Israelites.
Moses’ act was akin to appropriating the glory of the Lord for himself and if God is one thing he is jealous for his name and his glory. It is no doubt for even a man such as Moses tempting to want to share the limelight of the Lord, but in keeping with the theme of prophetic significance, one’s call in the Lord is never about the aggrandizement of the individual. It is however with Hollywood witches and followers of Lucifer. They generally have no purpose except the exaltation of themselves.
Thus, what is observed from Elijah and Moses is that God places a premium on following directions something very hard for people to do. He doesn’t need fleshly embellishments of men to fulfill his word. He only needs for his directions to be followed with nothing of the wisdom of men to be added.