Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. ~ Psalm 20:7-8
I trailed behind the kids as they entered the room, trying to keep up with the energetic group of boys I was in charge of this week for Kidz City, our version of children’s church. They clamored up on the risers, waiting to hear this Sunday’s Bible story from Mrs. Peggy. She reminded them of their story from last week about Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Asking the boys if they remembered what happened, they eagerly shared how God sent down fire and burned up Elijah’s altar after the prophets of Baal had danced for hours around their own altar with no response from their gods. (1 Kings 18)
She then shared the Bible story about Elijah’s discouragement after this great event and how God had encouraged him by ministering to him through the angels.
After she finished, a little boy named Jacob raised his hand. “Mrs. Peggy, why would those men believe those false gods could burn up their altar when they weren’t even real?”
“Well,” Mrs. Peggy explained,” they put their trust in something that they believed was real. They loved these gods more than anything else so they believed their gods could do anything.”
Another boy, Barron, raised his hand and asked if anyone could worship shoes. I had to chuckle. Anyone who’s heard of Sarah Jessica Parker in the TV show Sex and the City would know the answer to that question. Even though I never watched the show, I knew of her character’s obsession with expensive shoes.
“If they think those shoes are more important than God, then yes, you can worship shoes.” she replied.
They seemed satisfied with her answers and lined up at the door, ready to go have their snack.
As I thought about these questions, I was amazed at the faith of a little child. Having been raised in Christian homes, these boys couldn’t understand how anyone would look to someone or something else for help. They know their God is powerful and believe He can do anything. They know who to ask when they have a need and believe He will take care of them.
I was reminded of a series I recently watched on the History channel called “The Men Who Built America”. I was fascinated learning how four men, all but one from humble beginnings, literally built the industry of our country that made us financially great, through railroads, oil, steel and electricity. As the series delved into the lives of the famed Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie and Morgan, it became clear what ruled their lives; money and power. These were ruthless men who would stop at nothing to accomplish their purpose. They each intended to become the most powerful and wealthiest man in America, and succeeded beyond what anyone could imagine.
But at what cost? After years of conniving, wheeling and dealing and undercutting the competition, they began to see the uselessness of keeping so much for themselves. After all, they couldn’t take it with them. And so they began giving it away in huge sums. However, that seemed to turn into a competition as well, seeing who could outdo the other in giving.
I don’t know if these men finally understood at the end of their lives who the one true God is. I hope they did. I’m glad some of their fortune bettered our nation, but it’s sad to think they may have put their hope in that alone, just as the prophets of Baal did with their false gods.
As this Christmas season fast approaches, we all need to be reminded of the only Hope we have for abundant and eternal life; Jesus Christ. No matter who or what the world tells us to put our trust in, we need to remember we can trust Him because He is the only one still in control. I pray those young boys in Kidz City will become strong men of faith who find their purpose by fulfilling the call God has on their lives, and always believing their God is big enough.
Are we faithfully asking ourselves if we are dancing in vain around the wrong gods?