Is That You, O Troubler? By Woodrow Kroll

1 Kings 18:17-18

Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, "Is that you, O troubler of Israel?" And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father's house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals."

Is That You, O Troubler?

A well-known professional golfer was playing in a tournament with then-president Gerald Ford, fellow pro Jack Nicklaus and Billy Graham. After the round was over, one of the other pros on the tour asked, "Hey, what was it like playing with the president and Billy Graham?" The pro said with disgust, "I don't need Billy Graham stuffing religion down my throat!" With that he headed for the practice tee. His friend followed, and after the golfer had pounded out his fury on a bucket of golf balls, he asked, "Was Billy a little rough on you out there?" The pro sighed and said with embarrassment, "No, he didn't even mention religion."

Elijah found himself in the same situation. Without even opening his mouth, the prophet found himself accused by Ahab as a "troubler." The accusation was obviously false. It was Ahab who was Israel's true troubler. His sin and the sin of those who had gone before him were the cause of God's judgment on Israel. But it was easier for Ahab to place the blame for his uneasy conscience on someone else than to face the truth about himself.

The world is always looking for someone to blame, isn't it? And Christians are a convenient target. We Christians are different (which make us suspect to start with), and the witness of our lives can be very convicting even when we say nothing. No wonder Christians have borne the brunt of persecution from the time of Nero to the present.

Don't be surprised or dismayed if you are being persecuted, in whatever form it may take. Consider it a confirmation that Christ is obviously within you and radiating from you.

Jesus Christ is both a comfort for Christians and an irritation for the world.

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