"I have seven thousand in Israel, who have never bent the knee to nor bowed to Baal" – A Word of Encouragement from God

111314Every now and again in times like these, I think of the prophet Elijah, anxious and fretting in a cave, so depressed he could barely eat. He was fleeing from Queen Jezebel, who sought his life. As Elijah looked to his beloved Israel, he saw a rather discouraging portrait of fellow Jews who were either too confused or too fearful to resist the religion of the Baals required by Jezebel. He seems to have felt quite alone. Perhaps he was the last of those who held the true religion, or so he thought and felt. In the cave, Elijah pours out his lament:

And there he came to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Ki 19:9–10).

But God will have none of this despair or complaining, and says to Elijah:

And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And him who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have seven thousand in Israel, that have never bent the knee to nor bowed to Baal, nor kissed him with the mouth” (1 Ki 19:15–18).

So there ARE others—a small remnant to be sure—but Elijah is not alone. A small remnant remains faithful and God will rebuild, working with them.

Thus Elijah is commanded not to give way to his discouragement, but rather to keep preaching and anoint leaders and a prophet who will keep preaching after him.

And here, then, is a lesson for all of us.

In times like these, it is hard not to feel like Elijah: deeply disappointed, even discouraged in our current cultural decline. How many of our countrymen and even fellow Catholics have bowed the knee to the Baals of our time and accepted the doctrines of demons? How many have been led astray by the Jezebels and the false religion of the Baals of our time, and have set aside the Cross and substituted the pillow of comfort and selfish desire? And thus now, like then, many are told to immolate their children, to kill the innocent through abortion (and call it choice or “women’s healthcare” or  “reproductive freedom”). There is also widespread misunderstanding about marriage, widespread divorce, cohabitation, and fornication, children being born outside of holy matrimony, and wide approval for same-sex unions—even the open celebration of homosexual activity. All of this harms children immensely by shredding the family, the very institution that needs to be strong so as to raise them well.

Euthanasia is also back in the news, as a young woman (whose name will NOT be mentioned here) euthanized herself. Many lionize such actions as “heroic,” etc. But such actions are better seen as a cowardly refusal to embrace the Cross, and as an action that diminishes the dignity of all those who are suffering and dying. Such an action threatens the lives of the sick and dying by introducing expectations that they should follow the course of euthanasia.

So here we are today in a culture of death. We are marked, too, by widespread sexual confusion and promiscuity and an incapacity to see these problems for what they are: sin and rebellion. And, sadly, too many in the Church are bewitched, even among the clergy and Church hierarchy, who succumb to false compassion.

But lest we become like Elijah in the cave, discouraged and edging toward despair, we ought to hear again the words of God to Elijah: I have seven thousand in Israel, that have never bent the knee to nor bowed to Baal. 

God has a way of working with remnants in order to rebuild his Kingdom. Mysteriously, He allows a kind of pruning, a falling away of what He calls the cowards (e.g., Judges 7:3; Rev 21:8). But with those who are left, He can effect a great victory.

Consider that, at the foot of the cross, only one bishop, (i.e., one priest, one man) had the courage to be there. Only four or five women had such courage. But Jesus was there. And with a remnant, a mere fraction of followers, He won thorough to the end.

Are you praying with me? Stay firm; stay confident; do not despair. There are 7000 who have not bent the knee to the Baals of this age. And with a small group, the Lord can win through to the end. Are you among the 7000? Or do the Baals hold some of your allegiance? Where do you stand?

Elijah was reminded that he was not alone. As I hear of the faith of many of you readers, I remember, too, that I am not alone. As I hear the “Amens” in my congregation as I preach the Old Time Religion, I remember that I am not alone. There are many good souls still to be found. Seek them out; build alliances and stand ready to resist, to fight the coming and already-present onslaughts.

I am not sure of the ultimate fate of Western Culture (frankly, it doesn’t look good). I am not sure if these are the end times or just the end of an era. But of this I am sure: Jesus wins and so do all who will stand with Him and persevere to the end. Get up, Elijah. Go prophesy even if you get killed for it. Keep preaching till the last soul’s converted.

51 Replies to “"I have seven thousand in Israel, who have never bent the knee to nor bowed to Baal" – A Word of Encouragement from God”

      1. Thank you for being a “present” to all of us. 🙂 God bless you, Monsignor Pope.

  1. We are here to stand with you and with all who seek to follow His Church to wherever He wishes to guide us.

  2. Subjected to humiliations am I because of my faith, because of goodness I endeavor for others. Yet I continue in the path of seeking HIM and HIS Righteousness. It is good though that I am confronted with these for because of these oppositions, it meant that I am going the right way towards GOD. For if I am subjected with praise and compliments, it will mean that I am walking with the enemy, away from GOD. Yes, we must not despair for already Our LORD had won and will continue to win, because of HIS Supreme Sacrifice and because there are more than 7,000, in fact multitudes who believe, pray and act on the WORD of GOD. We continue to intercede for these souls who are away from GOD and on our knees we pray for their convertion. Baruch haba bishem ADONAI. Thank you, Monsignor for your words of encouragement. GOD Bless you.

  3. It’s time to start anointing people to the Light and the Way and stop trying to appeal to the world at large by doubting and questioning the motive. That was made clear by Christ. You either believe and want what He has offered or you deny Him. It’s not about the world. It’s about what’s to follow. We already know our worldly possessions are under the control of something greater than ourselves and death can be selfishly lonely without the life Christ has offered us. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. 99 1/2 won’t do.

  4. i hope to be counted among the 7000, and be able to say, “Here I am Lord. I come to do your will.”

  5. The long-time singles feel especially lonely in this strange world. Let’s not forget them.

  6. Amen to all that is written here. Comfort and hope is so welcome. God bless you all faithful!

  7. Excellent essay as always Msgr. We need to remember that Christians didn’t always have it easy, in fact, most of the time throughout history, they didn’t.

    We need to realize our days of ease here in the U.S. are gone, the days when we could count on the culture to support us, as the general ethics of the culture were good. The days of many edifices might be fading away too, as we see so many of our physical buildings closing, churches and schools.

    But we cannot despair.

  8. Thank you Monsignor Pope for another wonderful encouraging article! “Here I am Lord, send me!”

  9. Not 7,000 Msgr. but “a great multitude that no one could count”, there is great Hope indeed!…

    Revelation 7: 9 After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried out in a loud voice, saying,

    “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

    11 And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 singing,

    “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
    and thanksgiving and honor
    and power and might
    be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

    13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    15 For this reason they are before the throne of God,
    and worship him day and night within his temple,
    and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
    16 They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
    the sun will not strike them,
    nor any scorching heat;
    17 for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
    and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
    and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

  10. Sometimes I feel like the “last one standing.” Football, Black Friday, Politics, Facebook, Consumerism, Entertainment have taken over the hearts and minds of so many good people. If your main interest is God, the Bible, prayer, works of charity etc. you are thought extreme. I remember reading a biography of John Paul II. One paragraph struck a nerve. It said that piety was considered normal when he was a young man. In 2014, If one is not into all the popular cultural pursuits and can not talk about them with ease and a dash of cleverness it is a problem. If you talk about Leo the Great’s recent feast day and what a fascinating man he was and his accomplishments you are simply eccentric at best or social outcast.
    We can feel the loneliness in our parish and within our own families.
    That is why I am thankful for Msgr. Pope’s articles. And thankful for the comments of his readers.

  11. I was just crying about my country and my culture and how it is descending into a dark age and then this comes up. With tears in my eyes I thank you for the fellowship this brings. I AM HERE LORD!!! I AM HERE!!! AMEN

  12. “Euthanasia is also back in the news, as a young woman (whose name will NOT be mentioned here) euthanized herself. Many lionize such actions as “heroic,” etc. But such actions are better seen as a cowardly refusal to embrace the Cross, and as an action that diminishes the dignity of all those who are suffering and dying. Such an action threatens the lives of the sick and dying by introducing expectations that they should follow the course of euthanasia.”

    Interesting how when a certain beloved comedic actor recently committed suicide, the world reacted with shock, sadness, anger, fear. Fast forward to the celebrated suicide of a pretty young woman, and the world/devil begins to reclassify the first suicide as “heroic” via news of his possible mental decline due to dimentia.

    He did not change. His choice did not change. We changed. Our initial reaction and response to his suicide was true, born out of compassion. Now, we have seen that running away from adversity is “heroic”. Now, his struggle means nothing.

    In the next 10 years, millions of people will receive a similar diagnosis of dimentia. Thanks to “heroic” suicide, their lives mean nothing. Apparently, with our current sensibilities, the only thing that will glorify them is if they just kill themselves already.

    That used to be an insult.

  13. Msgr., please pray for me for I am starting a movement, I really feel alone in this. I will pray for you and please pray for me.

    Msgr., I have a book that is out in the market what is your address so that I can send you my theological work?

    God Bless your work! 🙂

  14. Sometimes when you just don’t know how you can get up again, God sends a friend or a stranger who says ” Are you OK? I think there might be water and some food at the top of this hill, we can rest and go on from there.” It doesn’t take away the crushing weight but you can grab the yoke with renewed purpose.

    Today is my birthday, so once again my brother in Christ I will thank you. You will know what you have done when you receive your great reward. A better gift I could not have been given.

  15. “But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” —Isaiah 49:14-15

    it is a great comfort and consolation to know we are not forsaken.

  16. I believe there is an error: To the left of the photo and in bold type is the following: “But God will have none of this despair or complaining and says to Elisha:” Elisha should be Elijah.

  17. AMEN! Greetings from Sweden. Keep on fighting the good fight, never give up!

    I believe there are thousands (perhaps seven thousand or more) of people outside the U.S.A. reading your wonderful posts:)

    1. Msgr. Pope,

      You are right, we are not alone! Msgr., you are a modern day St. Paul! And thank God for the Internet!

      Welcome Ivan to the U.S. Blog! 🙂

  18. Wow. I have been despairing about the world, and faithfulness to Christ and His Bride, the Church, but this essay is like a tonic, helping me see beyond the state of things around me, from this present point in time, to the Timeless, to God who has made and sustains all and is the centerpoint and goal of history. Thank you for this post.

  19. Texas is with you, Msgr. Pope! 🙂 Sometimes I like to turn things around and look at them from the opposite viewpoint… Look at all the Muslims and atheists (etc.) God has brought to us to evangelize!

  20. It is tempting to get discouraged in these times; however, you are entirely right to remind us that there are still the remnant of 7,000 who have never bent the knee to Baal. This is very encouraging to me; I have recently been lamenting the fact that 22 years ago, in 1992, when I “re-verted” back to the Catholic faith, the Eucharistic adoration chapels had all kinds of people, sometimes as many as 15-20 at a time. Many from the greatest generation.
    Fast forward to 2014–nowadays, when I go to my scheduled hour (9:00 p.m. on Saturdays), very often I am the only one there. I try to spend an extra hour by getting there an hour early, and even so, apart from the 8:00 p.m. scheduled adorer, there is still often no one else there, all evening long.
    However, some evenings there are any number of people who come in for a visit, even if only a very brief one.
    I think that while the greatest generation has begun to depart for their eternal rewards, there are still very many who believe, and who simply cannot make it to Eucharistic adoration, or who cannot get out of the house for various reasons (age, family responsibilities, too dangerous to venture out after dark, etc.).
    Please pray for an “uptick” in Eucharistic adoration, as this draws down the grace of God not just on the person worshipping, but also for his/her intentions, and upon the entire parish.

  21. Thank you for a very encouraging article. I think the greatest temptation for many of us now is to despair, to take the road that Denethor took. I find it helps to read about St. Athanasius and look to his life as a model to follow in times like these.

  22. Thank you Msgr ., for the groaning in the spirit , in a church named to honor The Holy Spirit , wishing for
    the double portion on the ‘children ‘ in The Spirit ..

    and may be those prayers as well as others, came to recognise bit more what an awesome awesome thing it is , that The Lord alights , on our very tongue, in every Eucharist ..

    we get to touch Him ..and all of heaven , in Him .. ? even all those who are baptised unto Him ..

    even those we might difficult to deal with , to touch them too , in ihe light and love of His wounds ..

    Thank you for being a priest of The Lord !

    And may your prayers and of many others bring on the showers of the mustard seeds of faith ..casting off mountains and letting the song of awe and gratitude taming the tongues – that touch Him !

  23. Oh, how the world desperately needs to hear words like these from the Chair of Peter. How can he not see that this is the type of preaching that is needed? It makes me sad.

  24. Msgr Pope: You are a blessing. This and all of your posts are excellent! Keep doing what you’re doing. It is a great encouragement to all of us. God bless you in your wonderful work!

  25. Msgr.,I wake up each morning, I say my prayers, and then I have breakfast with you (the bright side of the internet). My hope is to someday love Him as much as you do……… I’m trying my best! And I do not understand why others don’t love Him – may God pity them. He is so, so loveable, isn’t He?

  26. Definitely tough nowadays, and the article leaves out the 2nd curse: Islam.
    It has been destroying the christian church for 1500 years with no effective response.

  27. As I read this, I keep thinking of the anawim, the small group of faithful followers of the Lord. We are lucky today to have the internet where we can access your blog and those of other faithful Catholics, drawing strength from one another. We must never give up on the grace of God and the miracles of conversion He can work. If each of us just does what He calls us to do, it is enough and He will take care of the rest. Even if we are martyred, it is OK because in accepting the death He has ordained for us, we are doing His will.

    What we see all around us is the work of the world, the flesh and the devil. It may seem overwhelming. But we are not failures if we can’t effect change – a return to God consciousness – of the culture. It’s beyond most of us to do great things as Mother Teresa did. But it’s not beyond God. I am in the little trench He has ordered me to go to and you really help me to stay focused on that one thing necessary Jesus spoke of to Martha in the gospel.

  28. How many times do we crawl under the broom tree with Brother Elijah, spent and weeping? Only to have God coax us gently out with such love. It is hard now, very hard. And tears are part of everyday life. Tears for the hardened unwilling hearts surrounding us. God bless you Msgr. Pope. Thank You Holy Spirit for Your abiding love and care. For giving Your faithful remnant the affirmations they so badly need, from such a priest! Walk with him always and let him feel our love and support.

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