When I was a kid and we had been extra good – like getting all A’s – mom and dad would take us to Baskin-Robbins the home of 31 flavors of ice cream. I was always so excited but then the challenge came when you walked in the door and were faced with 31 different options! Decisions, decisions.
We are now quickly closing in on election day (as if you didn’t know this by the 24-hour news cycle that has been belching up political fodder for over a year). We are faced with a VERY difficult decision! This is… drum roll… Decision 2016, and we ain’t pickin’ between chocolate chip and butter pecan.
I am reminded of Decision 864, BCE! In 1 Kings 18, there are only two options that Elijah presents to the people of Israel. Follow God or follow Baal. One can hardly blame the Israelites for wanting to follow this false god. Their king, King Ahab married Jezebel. As a high priestess for this pagan god, she sheltered and cared for hundreds of Baal’s prophets. Baal’s presence was all over the kingdom. The people with power and influence were steering everyone towards worshiping him not YHWH.
Elijah finally confronted the underlying issue that had caused Israel so much trouble up to this point. How long will you go on flip-flopping between two opinions? Either serve God or serve Baal. This is a far more important decision that we face every day. It will be there when you wake up on November 9 and the political ads are gone, your mailbox is a little less cluttered and the confetti has been swept off the floor.
A different version of the same question was asked by Joshua when Israel first settled the land of Canaan and began to establish itself as a nation now free from Egyptian slavery. Joshua’s famous statement to the Israelites was, “Choose today whom you will serve… but as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15, NLT). His challenge to decide was a familiar one for Israel. They faced that decision daily for an entire generation that was spent wandering.
So how do you make a decision in a culture that continues to try to lead you astray? What do you do when leaders and people of influence and power are pushing you further and further from what the Bible says and further from the truth contained in Scripture? Well, just like Israel we have to choose. Choosing between Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Ha! That’s mere child’s play compared to the decision about who will be the Lord of your life.