I don’t know, home schoolers, when we crossed the Rubicon. Perhaps it was when we turned off the television or refused to buy the latest entertainment center. Maybe it was when we drove our old cars another year so we could buy the best curricula for our kids. Or was it when we decided to read classics together in our homes? Somewhere, sometime, we crossed the Rubicon and there is no going back.
To push my metaphor farther, we were first “Obadiahs,” perhaps from 1985 to today. There is nothing wrong with being Obadiah. Faithful, Godly Obadiah, like Daniel, was very influential in a very evil regime. Obadiah served evil Ahab and Jezebel well, and he served God’s people well too. For instance, he was able to protect hundreds of prophets who otherwise would have been killed by Ahab.
King Ahab and Jezebel are very capable, and in many ways, successful monarchs. From their perspective, they are the Atrue@ leadership. Elijah, and the prophets, are radical, unreasonable, uncompromising troublers of Israel. They are not team players. No doubt Ahab and Jezebel could not understand why Elijah could not carry on a civil discussion about what they saw as tangential, civil issues. Likewise, recently our president was genuinely concerned that “conservatives cannot be civil and polite in their discussions about abortion.” To many of us pro-lifers, and to Elijah, murder and apostasy do not engender etiquette.
This home school generation is the Elijah generation. To Elijah, the behavior of Ahab and Jezebel is absolutely appalling. While claiming to worship the Hebrew God they also fill the land with syncretism, with apostate worship of the BAALS. The crowning blow, to Elijah, is when these scoundrels placed the Asherah poles (places where believers could have sexual relations with temple prostitutes) on the hill next to the Temple. Enough was enough and Elijah is ordered home to confront these evil powers on Mt. Carmel.
And Elijah was not accommodating nor was he running away—don’t you just wish Ahab and Jezebel!—he is coming home to challenge the gods of this age.
Ahab and Jezebel are Post-Modernists. They celebrate the subjective. They are committed to compromiseBit is their religion. Live and let live! What is the big deal?
Well, you see, Elijah cannot compromise with the stuff they are doing. There is no wriggle room in Judah and there is getting to be precious little wriggle room in the U. S. A. too.
There is some good news here. The world of the Baals, folks, is falling apart. And quickly. As sociologist Peter Berger explains, “American mainline culture can no longer offer plausibility structures for the common man. It no longer sustains Americans.” Or, as my old friend Professor Harvey Cox, at Harvard, coyly observed, “Once Americans had dreams and no technology to fulfill those dreams. Now Americans have tons of technology, but they have no dreams left.”
In short order the Ahabs and Jezebels are going to find out that Elijah is not in a compromising mood either. Folks, there are some things one cannot compromise. Elijah and Jezebel are going to meet a man of God who speaks with concrete clarity, who carries the weight of truth.