Discover His heart: He speaks to us through His gentle whisper
@ 1 Kings 19
I don’t know why it is, but so often we find ourselves on the floor of the valley after an incredible mountaintop experience. That is where we find the great prophet Elijah in our reading today. God had just shown up BIG at Mount Carmel; what a demonstration of His greatness! Now rain had come to the dry, parched land, and Elijah should have been walking on air, but he wasn’t. We find him under a broom tree wanting to die. Not good.
Jezebel wanted Elijah dead for killing all her prophets of Baal, “So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah, ‘May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.’ Elijah was afraid…” (2) If you’ve ever experienced a Jezebel in your life, you probably understand his fear. Even now, almost 3,000 years later, most everyone understands that a Jezebel spirit, often attractive and compelling, is evil personified and represents a controlling spirit bent on taking us down. Rather than living in the grip of fear, we will do well to remember Jezebel’s fate – she was thrown out a window, trampled by horses and eaten by dogs. (2 Kings 9:30-37) God is not threatened by Jezebel.
However, Elijah sat under the broom tree discouraged, fatigued, afraid and ready to die, but God was not going to let His servant stay that way. He sent food to strengthen Elijah for a 200-mile journey to Mt. Sinai. After he arrived, the Lord asked him this question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”(9) Elijah gave a little history lesson of all had happened, something that really wasn’t necessary, and then said, “I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” (10)
Then God showed up BIG for Elijah again with a mighty wind, an earthquake and fire, proving once again that He was able to control all things including the fate of one Jezebel, but God’s message to Elijah was not in these demonstrations. It was in the gentle whisper where God spoke and caught Elijah’s attention, “And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” God went on to tell him all about his role in the future events of Israel. (12-18) Everything He said came to pass.
As with Elijah, we may have finished a great task, built a new church, held a big event or completed an assignment and find ourselves on the floor of the valley feeling discouraged, fatigued and afraid of what the future may hold. We may be tempted to give Him a history lesson of all that has happened. We may be looking for the great wind, the earthquake and fire, skywriting or a spiritual leader to show up with a word, but perhaps God is whispering to us: What are you doing here, dear one? Get up and eat from My Word, My bread, and be strengthened for the journey ahead. At my Holy Mountain, in My presence, I will direct your steps, and all that I have said will come to pass. What are you doing here, dear one?
Moving Forward: Strengthened by your Word today, I wait in your presence and listen for your gentle whisper…
Tomorrow @ Psalms 75-77