This week, our middle two daughters competed in their first spelling bee: a circumscribed affair, thanks to Covid, of course. But leading up to the Bee, our dinner hour turned into Spelling Bee Practice, with Mitch and I taking turns tossing the girls words to spell while we ate our meal (and occasionally tried to stump each other).
Why it’s so funny to misspell words, I can’t say, but it is. By the end of each of these dinners, at least one of us laughed so hard we cried and the rest of us had succumbed to various stages of helpless giggles. When I asked our first grader to spell “sting,” she stood up beside her chair and said, cheerfully, “Sting! B-E-E, sting!”
Or when Mitch playfully asked Josie (almost five) to spell her name? “J-O-something-something-E!”
But, hilarity aside, this was their first time competing, and excited as they were I know they were nervous, too. What if they lost? What if they won, and had to go on to face the next round of the competition? Standing up in front of your own class is daunting enough. What if they got up there and then forgot the “a” in “each”?
Carl Laferton’s new book, The God Contest, explores a different contest: that between Elijah and the priests of Baal (or, really, between God and Baal). This contest asked the question, “Who is the true God?” In the delightful tradition of the rest of the Tales That Tell the Truth series, The God Contest shares a favorite biblical story, but rather than treat that story as a complete entity, separate from the rest of Scripture, this book shows how the story of Elijah and the prophets points toward Jesus. The Israelites weren’t the only ones to wonder who was the true God, after all, and God settled the question once and for all not in a blaze of fire, but in a blaze of life at Jesus’s resurrection.
Alas, my daughters did not win their spelling bees, though it sounds like they each lasted a while and they sure worked hard. But God’s contest is settled: he is the victor. Yet rather than keep the prize for himself, he has given it—lavishly, abundantly—to those who trust in him. May this book point those young readers to the One who loves them so.
The God Contest: The True Story of Elijah, Jesus, and the Greatest Victory
Carl Laferton; Catalina Echeverri (2021)
Disclosure: I did receive a copy of this book for review, but I was not obligated to review this book or compensated for my review in any way. I share this book with you because I love it, not because I was paid to do so.