For all the bread makers, we see the effect of yeast when put into a batch of dough. The small amount of yeast affects the entire big lump of dough.
I was curious to learn about the yeast process. I discovered that during budding, (where a small cell is formed into its own cell) a mature yeast cell puts out one or more buds, each bud growing bigger and bigger until it finally leaves the mother cell to start a new life on its own as a separate cell.
The apostle Paul is calling on the Corinthian church to becoming holy in their conduct. He tells them to, “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast as you really are.” (1 Corinthians 5: 7)
During Passover week in the Jewish culture, they are prohibited to use leaven (yeast) in the bread eaten during their Passover feast. Leaven in scripture usually symbolizes evil or sin. Jesus warned believers to, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees.” (Mark 8: 15) Watch out for corruption!
This metaphor of allowing just a small amount of yeast (sin) to be mixed in with the dough will affect and infect the entire group.
Paul is speaking to them to live the Christian life in holy dedication to God. He is warning them to not get involved in the sins of malice, wickedness, and incestuous marriages. He wants them to continue with the “Yeast of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5: 8)
- We have the ability to affect or infect. What components we use, is what we choose to feed and grow on. The components of sincerity and truth will reproduce in the right way. Rebellion and isolation may reproduce, yes, but in a harmful way. How we choose to multiply is how we choose to be nourished and grow. Separation can be good, but know what type of cell we are feeding off of.
Paul concludes his rebuke by saying, “Expel the wicked man from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5: 13)
- Purging is sometimes necessary. (Shared from 1 Corinthians 5, Modified)
Elijah is wanting to purge the people from evil. He says this, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing.” (1 Kings 18: 21)
- Be decisive, not divisive.
- By not responding, neutrality becomes familiarity. Make a choice.
That’s what Elijah was confronting the people of Israel with. They were worshiping Baal and the Lord. He was making a sharp contrast between choosing who to follow. Evil cannot be mixed with purity. We saw in the first reading what mixing produced within the Corinthian church.
This prophet challenges the people. He tells them to get two bulls, one for him and one for the god of Baal. He tells them to prepare their sacrifice, “Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire, he is God.” (1 Kings 18: 23-24)
Elijah tells them to call down the name of their god. They do so from morning till noon, but they receive no answer. They receive no response. They tried dancing around the altar, nothing happened.
At noon, Elijah begins to taunt them telling them their god must be sleeping, traveling, or too busy. The people cut themselves until their own blood flowed. This was the usual custom when coming before their god. Nothing still happened, and it is now evening.
Elijah tells the people to come to him. “He repaired the altar of the Lord which was in ruins.” (1 Kings 18: 30)
- Repairing the altar, is a place of preparation, for our God to come.
Listen carefully to how Elijah prepares this altar: He takes twelve stones, one for each tribe. With the stones, he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and dug a trench around it, large enough to hold two seahs of seed. That’s about 13 quarts. He arranged the wood and placed the pieces of the bull on top of the wood.
He goes a step further wanting them to see the undeniable miracle and power of God. What does he do? He said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” (1 Kings 18: 33)
We all know what water does to firewood. He pours water on the altar, not once, but three times. The water runs down over the altar and even fills the trench with water.
- The fire of God is upon His people, who carry the seed and are surrounded and saturated as the Living Water, Jesus.
Elijah now prays, “Let it be known today that you are God in Israel.” (1 Kings 18: 37)
The fire of God fell, burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the soil, and licked up the water in the trench!
- Our God is a consuming fire.
The people responded now. They hit the ground, fall prostrate before him saying, “The Lord–He is God! The Lord–He is God!” (1 Kings 18: 39) He then goes after the false prophets seizes them, and slaughters them.
He then tells Ahab to go eat and drink for “There is the sound of heavy rain.” (1 Kings 18:41)
Elijah climbs to the top of Mt. Carmel bends down to the ground, puts his face between his knees. Seven times he prayed and his servant tells him he sees a small cloud the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea. The sound of heavy rain was not only heard but now it poured down.
- One man’s obedience and prayer brought forth the rain from heaven, and fire upon the altar, to make His God known.
- Never underestimate the power of one man, obedient to the call of God, to change the hearts of the people. “If one man puts a thousand to flight…” (Shared from 1 Kings 18, Modified)
Amos’s call, as all the Old Testament prophets, is similar–calling the people back to their God. He sees the destruction and declaring, “I will send fire upon Moab…I will send fire upon Judah.” (Amos 2: 2, 5)
To Israel, God says, “I will crush you.” (Amos 2: 13) He is calling the people back to their God, pointing out not to allow evil mixed with good.
Don’t allow the yeast of sin to destroy your walk with God. Be obedient to Him and what He has said, and you shall reap a reward.
Serving the Bread of Life will produce the correct yeast in our lives.
(Shared from Amos 2: 1-3: 2, Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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