“I am God now and forever. No one can snatch you from me or stand in my way.” Isaiah 43:13 CEV
In Isaiah 43, God declares, “For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Israel was precious in God’s sight, to the point He ransomed Egypt and exchanged many other people for them. His intent was for Israel to understand the lengths He would use His authority on their behalf.
In verse nine of the same chapter, God challenged all other the nations to bring their idols and have them make predictions of the future. The challenge was to show Israel that all other idols were false, impotent, and no gods at all. God’s desire was for Israel to see He had chosen them to know and believe Him alone. But, as we know, history records the many times Israel would forsake their one, true God to chase after false idols.
Such was the case with King Ahab, as recorded in 1 Kings 18. Ahab had led Israel into Baal worship even calling God’s prophet, Elijah, Israel’s “troublemaker” for his boldness to declare the Word of the Lord. When Elijah met King Ahab face-to-face, he said to Ahab, “Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.”
Once all the prophets of Baal and Asherah and all of Israel arrived at Mt. Carmel, at the Lord’s direction, Elijah issued a challenge, saying, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” The challenge was to prepare a sacrifice for the true God to be consumed by fire.
You may well know this story, the false prophets prepared their sacrifice, and then cried and pleaded with their gods, but they would not answer. Then it was Elijah’s turn. First, Elijah rebuilt the altar of God with twelve stones, had a trench dug around the altar, cut up the sacrifice and placed the pieces on planks of wood, and had so much water poured on the sacrifice it even filled the trench.
The stage was set, then Elijah prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” Then, their God, the Holy One of Israel answered!
In the same way, God went to great lengths to prepare the only acceptable sacrifice to reconcile fallen man back to Himself…His only son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.” God has chosen us as a precious to Himself to know and believe Him! Our God, now and forever.