Friday, July 29, 2016

A Still, Small Voice

O. T. #802  "A Still, Small Voice"
July 29, 2016
1 Kings 19-Part 4
And after the earthquake,  fire, but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  1 Kings 19:12


Experience as a teacher of children has taught me that they listen more attentively to not a loud or yelling voice, but to a gentle, calm voice. To which did Elijah responded?

Elijah went 200 miles to the mountains, walking 40 days and 40 nights. He spent one night in a cave. However, the Lord asked Elijah, "What are you doing here?" He proceeded to answer that he had zealously served God, but Israel had broken their covenant (to worship only God and obey His commands) and tore down His altars. And he was the only one faithful follower left.
Then God told Elijah to go out and stand before Him on the mountain, and he obeyed.

What did Elijah experience there?
  • The LORD passes by,
  • and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain.
  • It was  so strong that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind.
  • After the wind was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
  • After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.
  • After the fire, there was a gentle whisper, a still small voice.
  • When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
  • Again, God asked Elijah what he was doing there. Elijah gave the same answer.
What are I doing here, in a cave of I-could-not-care-less? Why do I feel alone in being a faithful servant of the Lord? I know that is not the truth.
 What are you doing there, friend, in your cave, whatever kind it is? Have we hidden in a cave, running away from our troubles, from those who challenge our faith in Jesus, from fear, licking our wounds?
We should no longer be a slave to fear, for we are children of Almighty God, as the song says. Lay it down, the fear in me. Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.


The three phenomena, wind, earthquake, and fire, announced the imminent arrival of the Lord (Ex.19; Ps. 18; Hab.3). The Lord's self-revelation to Elijah came in a faint, whispering voice. The lesson for Elijah was that Almighty God was quietly, sometimes imperceptibly doing HIs work in Israel. (The MacArthur Bible Commentary)

In Experiencing God Day-By-Day, a devotional book by Henry and Richard Blackaby they explain this passage:

God came not in fire or in a loud, spectacular way, but in a still small voice. Elijah had allowed his circumstances to overwhelm him, leaving him disoriented to God and feeing alone. So God encouraged him. If you are overwhelmed by kingdom work so that your focus is no longer on God but on all that there is to do, let Him comfort you. Listen to His gentle voice. He will encourage you and provide exactly what you need to prepare you for what comes next. If you need removed from your work for a time, He will. He may place a friend or co-laborer beside you to help carry the load. God knows exactly how to encourage you. Let Him do so.

Here is some advice found in Life Application Study Bible:
Elijah realized that God doesn't reveal Himself only in powerful, miraculous ways. To look for God only in something big (rallies, churches, conferences, highly visible leaders) may be to miss Him because He is often found gently whispering in the quietness of a humbled heart. Are you listening for God? Step back from the noise and activity of your busy life and listen humbly and quietly for His guidance. It may come when you least expect it.

Today, we are staying with Elijah on the mountain, coming out of the cave of hiding, then listening to the Lord God. Maybe you need to do the same this weekend. I know that I certainly do. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, dear ones. If we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him.
God is faithful, gracious, promise-keeper, rescuer...whatever we need, He is ready to provide.
Have a great weekend.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  Psalm 46:10


Spend time with God, listening for His still small voice.

Open my heart to God for His working in me.

Trust and obey God.

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