Lord Jesus, Open the eyes if my heart and the ears of my souls to receive all that You have for me this day! Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path! Amen 1Kings 19 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 ... ...
Elijah is truly one of the most interesting of all the Old Testament prophets. Our text catches him in a time of depression. Yes depression - biblical God-followers struggled with some level of what we call depression countless times. His depression was caused by fear and loneliness. Elijah had just been "God's man" in a showdown with the culture's idol Baal at a place called Mt. Carmel. The prophets of Baal called on their god to show up - he didn't! Elijah called on the true God to show up - He did! - In a big way!
Needless to say the powers that be - King Ahab and Queen Jezebel - were ticked off at Elijah because, being Baal worshippers themselves, they did not appreciate the public humiliation of their "god". Predictably, Jezebel issues a death warrant for Elijah. Elijah is scared! He is afraid and feels all alone! (This story is in is 1 Kings 18-19)
Then the verses above tells us God comes to visit Elijah in the middle of his fear, loneliness and depression. The point the story seems to want me to get is the means God "didn't" use to connect with Elijah. The point is, God wasn't in the great and powerful wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire ---- God came to Elijah in a voice - a whisper! We have a subtle God! Sometimes He wants me to see Him in the great and grand works of His hands in creation or the mighty deeds of His Spirit in a radical conversion or a miraculous healing - BUT - I think God is whispering to me in this text, "Sometimes I come in subtle ways, non glamorous ways, quietways. delton, I don't want you to miss Me! I want you to catch My subtle presence and movements in your world and in your life."
Jesus spent most of His ministry telling people about the kingdom of God - and how it was different than what they expected! They were thinking grand, mighty and pompous yet the king came humble, serving and healing! He is a subtle God - bringing His kingdom forth into my life and my world, many times, in subltle ways.
He still subtly whispers through His Word and by His Spirit! He will come by the subtle means of bread and wine this Sunday in the Lord's Supper. His kingdom comes and He moves in subtles ways like simple acts of kindness instead of hate, forgiveness instead of bitterness, heartfelt prayers instead of glory seeking, lovers of good instead of lovers of self, the giving and receiving of words of encouragement instead of control and condemnation.
I am jazzed - I get to spend today listening and looking for my "subtle God" atwork and then by faith I get to join Him in what He is doing!