08-16-2012 God's Gentle Whisper As you prepare for today’s Scripture passage, please center your heart and mind in Christ with prayer.
And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
This passage, specifically verses 11-13, always bring a sobering thought to me: How many times have I looked for God in the huge, the loud, the obvious, when He is actually the Still, Gentle Whisper? Would I know God’s Voice in the midst of chaos?
Elijah is a pretty amazing guy, Biblically speaking. He was so in lock step with God that when God said, “Go,” Elijah went. As a result, God trusted Elijah with some pretty intense work which led to the restoration of Israel by God after an epic battle between Elijah as God’s right hand man and the false god, Baal, in 1 Kings 18: 16-40. Elijah trusted God to lead him, thereby bringing glory to God and honor to Israel. Elijah learned to trust God’s guidance and hear God’s quietest whisper.
Elijah knew God’s voice. He knew the sound of it, he knew the feel of it, he knew the timbre of it. In the midst of the blowing, shaking, and burning, Elijah waited for The Voice. I’d have probably run out of the cave at the first wind gust, all excited and jumpy, asking, “Is that You, God??” only to be caught up in the wind; I would do it all over again at the earthquake and the fire. Provided I survived, I would most certainly miss God’s whisper because I was talking. But not Elijah; he recognized God’s voice in the midst of chaos. He had practiced listening.
How does God get your attention? Do we all need more practice at hearing His whisper? Please share your thoughts and stories! We love them!!