But the people said nothing…. (1 Kings 18:21).
Have you ever sat back and said nothing when someone was taking advantage of another person or doing something wrong? I have. Have you ever stayed silent because you were afraid that people wouldn’t like you, that they would talk about you or pick on you? I have. Have you ever not shared your faith or talked about Jesus for fear of rejection or being looked at as weird? I have.
What I have found in my heart in these moments is fear. Fear keeps me from doing the right thing, for standing firm for what is right, and caring for someone who is being misused, forgotten or left alone. My fear is really rooted in selfishness. A selfish heart that cares more about my own appearance before others than standing up for what I know is right.
As the Jewish people stood before Elijah and the prophets of Baal he challenged them to stop wavering between two opinions and to choose for themselves if Baal was god or if the God of Israel was God. Sadly, as the scripture goes, the people say nothing.
I imagine their reasoning for saying nothing was because some of their hearts had turned away from God. Others may have been afraid of the prophets of Baal and their perceived power. Therefore, not saying anything because of what the consequences coming from these evil prophets might have been. Some of us have faced deep injustices in our lives because we have been taken advantage of and no one spoke up for us. Maybe someone did, but it fell on deaf ears or maybe we were the person who was supposed to speak up for someone else, but we remained silent for fear of the unknown.
Staying silent is never the right option when injustice is happening. Silence speaks to the oppressor that your own identity and power matters more than their present plight.
Speaking up for God, choosing to live radically for Him may mean that we lose things in our lives like popularity and prestige. If we are willing to let go of our own pursuit of power and start lifting up others, living boldly for God, not caring about what others think of us we can find joy in knowing that we are safe in the hands of God.
Lord, I don’t ever want to waver between two opinions. I want my life to be saturated in your love. I want to see others, speaking up for them when they are being taken advantage of. I want to be a woman who is set on fire by your love and who is not afraid to stand for Jesus no matter what the cost. Lord, today, I will walk with my heart surrendered to your love, in Jesus name, Amen.