Elijah went before the people and said, ‘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

Ever wonder where the expression “deer in headlights” originated? It comes from the animal’s bizarre behavior when confronted by the headlights of an oncoming car. The deer will freeze in place and stare straight ahead despite the obvious danger.

Science has revealed that this paralysis is not due to stubbornness, but to temporary blindness. Deer have more rods than cones in their eyes, which means they have superior night vision. Their pupils are fully dilated as darkness falls. When a headlight beam strikes eyes that are fully dilated to capture as much light as possible, deer cannot see at all, and they freeze until the eyes can adjust. They don’t know what to do, so they do nothing.

When Elijah confronted the people of Israel with a choice between following Baal or God, 1 Kings 18:21 says: “the people said nothing.” They were as deer in headlights. They didn’t know what to do, so they did nothing.

Where are you acting like a deer in headlights? Is God shining a light on some attitude or habit that is paralyzing you in place? Are you frozen in fear of giving your all to him? Or, do you prefer dimness to the light of truth? The world is getting ever darker, and it is dangerous to be paralyzed by Satan’s confusing lights. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and move with Him out of harm’s way.

Alter Your Altar (Ideas for Family Worship)

  • Reflect on the final phrase of the “Lord’s Prayer,” (“For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”)
  • If you have kids, turn out the lights and have them pretend to be deer hiding behind furniture. Then, have them come out and attempt to cross the room. Have a flashlight ready and shine it on them as they cross. Have them react to the light by freezing in place. Let them take turns being the “deer” or shining the light.
  • Talk about times when you’ve been like a deer in headlights. What was it that made you afraid to move or frozen with fright? Or share a time when you should have said something, but said nothing.

Please Pray . . .

  1. For deliverance from spiritual paralysis.
  2. For Shelton Valley Christian School and newly reopened Enumclaw School.
  3. That as the world gets darker, we will keep our eyes on Jesus and move out of harm’s way.