Not Really god, where are you?
Then they called on the name of Baal from morning to noon.”Baal answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said, “Surely he is a god! Perhaps his is deep in thought, or busy or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 1 Kings 18:26b-27 Those who know me would be quick to tell you that I am a bit sarcastic. It’s a quality that I have passed on to my children and even some of my grandchildren. Some days I feel a little guilty. Is that really a quality that God wants to see in me? Certainly that cannot be my go to attitude but there are times that it comes in quite nicely. This morning, reading a totally unrelated verse, I was reminded of this account in the first book of Kings. (It begins at verse 16 and continues to the end of the chapter. I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t and it if you have reread it. It’s great!) In this passage Elijah is having a contest of sorts with the Baal worshippers. It’s a my God is bigger than your god thing which Elijah wins in a very dramatic way. These verses here are just fun and absolute evidence that God does allow and enjoy a little sarcasm now and then. Here they are the Baal people calling, shouting, screaming to their god and Elijah says, “he might be busy or sleeping.” He also says, “he might be deep in thought.” One commentary I read said that the original wording makes that sound like a suggestion that perhaps Baal is in the potty. Oh my goodness! Sarcasm! Elijah knows full well that this “god” they’re all about is not real. He further knows that his God is very real, complete omnipotent and ready to do battle for His people anytime, anywhere. So Elijah taunts. Then to add insult to injury when it’s his turn Elijah douses his sacrifice with water, not once but three times. Sarcasm? Maybe not directly but come on! “Hey guys, look while you god is in the potty or sleeping, mine is lighting a consuming fire on a flood!” Our own little personality quirks can cause us to wonder if God is really okay with us. Do we have to be sunshine and flowers, never saying a questionable or funny thing? I don’t think so! Read this story and so many others where God’s people, working on God’s behalf say things that sound a bit snarky. I’m not saying go out and make sport of any and every person you see, as with everything else there is a time and a place. However, if you, like my children and I, have a sarcastic streak, make it available to God. You never know how He might use it.