I Kings 18:21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How long are you going to waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him! But the people were completely silent.
Elijah had called out the prophets of Baal and the Israelites to come and watch the spectacle. There was a real drought in Israel at that time, both physically and spiritually. The Israelites had wandered far from God. They became entangled with the lives of those around them. They embraced the false gods of their neighbors instead of remaining loyal to God. God had tried over and over again to get them to repent and change their ways, but they would not listen. In order to get their attention, God dried up their land. They had had no rain for 3 1/2 years. They were in desperate times.
Elijah challenged the people to decide once and for all whom they were going to believe in, the Lord or Baal. Baal obviously had a much greater hold on them than God did. They knew about God, but they didn’t know God. You would think they would have had enough of the empty promises of the Baal worshipers. You would think that they would have realized that they were trusting in false gods. You would think that they would have declared their allegiance to God whom they had forsaken.
But the people were silent. They did not say anything at all. Why? I believe one of the reasons why was because they had drifted so far from God that their souls were deadened. They were not able to declare their allegiance because they had lost their grip on God and they had lost their belief in a personal God who wanted to be in a relationship with Him. They were living in darkness and those in the dark don’t come to the light out of fear their deeds would be exposed.
Sin does that to the soul. The more we engage in it and justify it, the less confidence we have in a God who loves us and desires a relationship with us. It deadens the soul and left unchecked will darken the soul to the point where we forsake God. Don’t underestimate the effect sin has on the soul! Sin is an abomination to God and it should be to us. It is our enemy, not our friend. We should be diligently on guard over our souls and not allow it to take a hold of us. When we sin we should be driven to our knees before the Lord and confess it. We should be constantly feeding our souls with God’s Word and hiding it in our hearts so that we might not sin against Him.
Take sin seriously; it can be lethal to the soul.