We were laughing as we watched our kitty go back and forth between two toys. He couldn't seem to make up his mind so he stood still and looked from one to the other. Haven't we all felt that sense of being unable to choose between two things?
This week's Bible Lesson opens with Elijah the prophet coming to address the children of Israel who were halting between two opinions. Not in the sense of suspending judgment but of vacillating between serving God and worshipping Baal. Going back and forth. He instructs them to choose. It is uncomfortable to sit astride a fence and the longer you sit there, the more uncomfortable it gets.
To those people it was not a question of which was the sole God, but which was more powerful and had the greater claim on their devotion. In Isaiah's time they would come to the point in their spiritual growth when they understood that God was the only Deity and beside Him there is no other.
My kids used to love hearing this story and picturing those prophets of Baal jumping around singing, "Baal, Baal, light the fire!" But I wonder if it is any different for those who jump around from one medical remedy to another calling upon them to heal some physical challenge. "Excedrin, Excedrin, get rid of this headache!" or "Cure my cold" or "help me lose weight."
There was no response to their chanting for their was nothing to hear them, nothing to respond.
Elijah takes over and he invites the people to come near. He addresses the Lord God of Abraham, and of Israel. He prays that God will answer the call and show the people His power. And He does. In a big way, consuming the sacrifice, the wood, the stone altar, the dust and the water that had been poured on it. The people saw and they understood. The Lord is God. That is the reality of it.
Our Lesson on Reality invites us to 'come and see the works of God'. It includes not only the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal, but Elisha seeing Elijah taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire, and then Elisha continuing Elijah's work healing a childless woman. He later raises her child from what appears to be death. When Jesus begins his healing ministry John, who has been imprisoned by Herod, sends some of his students to Jesus to ask him if he is the promised Messiah. Jesus responds by telling them to show John what he has been doing, healing all manner of sickness and disease. His works speak for him.
Is God working in our age? Yes. Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science, or the law of God as ever present good, and she began to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease as well. She wrote it in a book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, so all may study it and practice that same method of healing.
So there is no need to go back and forth, or halt between two opinions. The promised Comforter is here and available to all.
Come and see the works of God.