December 14, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Christopher Sterling and John Kitross wrote a book called Stay Tuned – A History of American Broadcasting. I remember hearing an announcer on radio tell the listening audience before a commercial break, “Stay tuned…,” especially if they wanted to hear more about a news item just mentioned or more of a current show. The Urban Dictionary explains “Stay tuned ” this way:
On old dial-tuned AM radios before there were even preset buttons, it was a
non-trivial task to tune into a particular station. So radio news announcers
would tell their audience to stay tuned to the station if they were expecting
more info on the current story.
Other catch phrases I remember from being a four year old with his ear glued to the big livingroom radio – before the days of TV in our house! – listening to exciting shows like The Lone Ranger – “Don’t touch that dial!” and “Same time, same station!”
But lets stick with Stay Tuned…! and see how we might apply it to our Christian lives. Stay Tuned…! brings to my mind a verse written almost 2,800 years ago, from Isaiah 30:21: “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand, and whenever you turn to the left.”
First let me say that I love this verse! In its context it applies mainly to the millennial kingdom when Israel will be the focal point of all the earth because Jesus is reigning as King from Jerusalem! But it also has application for Christians today, and I depend on this truth to help me walk according to God’s will and way.
Elijah had just won a powerful confrontation on Mount Carmel with “…the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah….” (I Kings 18:19 – read the whole episode in I Kings 18:19-46). But being threatened by Queen Jezebel in I Kings 29:2, Elijah ran – all the way Mount Horeb (Mount Sinai) where he hid in a cave (see I Kings 19:3-9). After pulling a confession from the prophet in II Kings 19:9 and 10, God told him in verse 11, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” Here is what happened next in I Kings 19:11 and 12:
And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into
the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD. But the
LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, the LORD
was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, the LORD was
not in the fire; and after the fire a still, small voice.
It is the still, small voice of God that we so often miss as we walk through this life! And it is that still, small voice to which Isaiah is referring in our featured Scripture! And a still, small voice is easy to miss – unless we are in tune and Stay Tuned… with the Lord!
So how do we Stay Tuned… with the Lord? Elijah’s experience gives us some answers:
• He knew the Scriptures! In I Kings 18:30 through 32 it says:
…he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. And Elijah
took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of
Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Israel shall
be your name.” Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of
Elijah did this exactly as the Israelites had interpreted what God had said centuries before! (See Exodus 20:25; 24:4; Joshua 4:1-9, 20).
He also demanded that the proper offering be used and at the proper time – the evening offering – in this test with the 850 prophets: “…let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood….” (I Kings 18:23 – see Exodus 28:39, 41; 29:36).
• He was obedient! He testified in his prayer to God in I Kings 18:36:
LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that
You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done
all these things at Your word.
Elijah’s loyalty and obedience to God has given him the place of the greatest prophet in the Old Testament!
• When he became discouraged – yes, like the rest of us – He confessed to God, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (I Kings 19:4 – see also I Kings 19:10, 14).
But he was willing to be corrected by the LORD! (See I Kings 19:18).
• He was also willing to be replaced (by Elisha) when God told him it was time! (See I Kings 19:15-21).
If you heed these points in your Christian life – know the Scriptures, be obedient, confess to God, be sensitive to God’s timing – you also will be ready to “…hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand, and whenever you turn to the left.” So Stay Tuned…!