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October 1 – Introduction

The word of God is living and active. It is not only something we study, it studies us. As the Bible reveals truths about itself, it also, simultaneously, reveals truths about us. That’s what you will discover as we work our way through the sacred account of the greatest of the Old Testament prophets, Elijah. From his sudden appearance before Ahab to his surprising disappearance before Elisha, his successor, these studies will highlight the astonishing grace of God to his people in his Son, Jesus Christ, the greatest of all prophets and the final Word of God.

In the lead up to Reformation Day, and in light of the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dort, we will end the month looking at the five main points of doctrine in dispute in the Netherlands in the early 1600s, not so much for disputation, as for celebration.

Hope in the dark days

…according to the word of the Lord – 1 Kings 16:34

Scripture reading: 1 Kings 16:29-34

There were dark days in Israel when Ahab came to the throne and they only became darker. It was bad enough that Ahab sanctioned the breaking of the second commandment by worshipping God through the golden calves. He also promoted the worship of Baal, the nature god of the Canaanites. Ahab bears responsibility for this because, contrary to God’s gracious command, he married the pagan Jezebel who had an evangelistic zeal to supplant the Lord‘s worship with Baal’s. Ahab further demonstrated his contempt for God’s Word by rebuilding Jericho, the ruins of which were a monument to God’s grace and judgment. Ahab wants to worship God and Baal.

Would to God that this sin of syncretism, attempting to serve two masters, were only a past malady in Christ’s Church. Alas, we see those same Ahabian tendencies when we limit the Lordship of Christ to specific areas of our lives. Christ is Lord, we confess, but I will marry whom I will. I will not let that confession interfere in maximizing profits in my business or His Lordship dictate what will entertain me. He is as Lord as I make Him Lord. Syncretism.

But if the sons of Hiel die according to the Word of the Lord (Joshua 6:26) doesn’t that encourage us to believe that other promises of God will be fulfilled too, including the promises to destroy the serpent, to forgive syncretistic sinners, and to sanctify His people? Indeed it does!

Suggestions for prayer

Ask that God would unite your heart to fear His name (Psalm 68:11) and praise Him that none of His promises fail, neither His promises of judgment nor of blessing.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. John van Eyk is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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