What do the Solar System, ladders and football boots have in common?
I’ll cut to the chase: they’re all examples of how we put our faith in false gods.
The position of the sun, moon and stars gives us our horoscope – a prediction of our futures. We put faith in balls of gas and rock to control our destiny.
Walking under a ladder is ‘bad luck.’ We have faith that some god or force might be angry at us if we break their rules.
My mate’s football boots are his ‘lucky ones.’ He believes this god uses leather to work for his sporting good.
We’re a superstitious bunch, full of faith in false gods.
In Elijah’s day people weren’t dissimilar. Their false god was called Baal.
Elijah set Baal’s followers a little challenge. They built an altar to Baal, and Elijah built one to Israel’s God. They then called on their god to consume their altar with fire (1 Kings 18:24).
‘“Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered.’ 1 Kings 18:26
Elijah then had a bit of a laugh. He poured twelve jars of water over his altar, before calling on the true God.
‘Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice… and also licked up he water in the trench.’ 1 Kings 18:38
Superstition involves trusting in gods who aren’t there and who give no response.
In Jesus, Elijah’s God has become our God. Forget horoscopes; he’s the one who’s written all our days in advance (Psalm 139:16).
Forget ladders. Worry about this God’s anger against your sin. Take refuge in Jesus who takes that anger himself on the cross (1 John 2:2).
Forget lucky boots or socks or whatever. God’s given us every spiritual blessing in Jesus and gives absolute confidence that now he only works for our good (Romans 8:28).
Put your faith in him – a God who responds.