Miles to go...

I have miles to go... please pray each day for the next leg of my Biblical journey!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 26: God Whispers

1 Kings 19:9-13

New Living Translation (NLT)
There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.

The Lord Speaks to Elijah

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but theLord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 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?”

Well, it's been a week since I last posted a blog entry of my own. It was a wonderful week visiting with my daughter and her family. I hope everyone has enjoyed the devotionals written by my friend, Deanna! But today I am getting back to the routine. I feel rusty. I hope I don't sound as rusty. Can one really get rusty in a week?

I really want to focus on how this passage applies to each of us in our every day life. I think everyone should sit down and read all about Elijah and his life's events, but this one instance is what I am really stuck on at the moment. Here's a little background. Elijah had spent three years living in hiding after he'd told King Ahab that there would be a famine. The king's wife, Jezebel, didn't like the news too much, and went around slaughtering every prophet of God  she could find, but she and the king never did find Elijah. Then one day, God told Elijah to go find Ahab, and he obeyed.

Long story short, he proved to King Ahab that God was really God, and that the gods they were worshiping were worthless. The Baal's couldn't even light a fire under the sacrificial bull. But God did, at Elijah's prayerful request. Then, after killing all the prophets of the foreign gods, Elijah told the king to rush back to Jezreel, because a big rain was coming.

King Ahab did as instructed, and told his wife all about what had happened, and Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah, and he took off for the hills. Mountains, actually. After 40 days, he came to a cave in Mt. Sinai where God had directed him.

So that's where we pick up. God asked Elijah what he was doing there, and Elijah answered. From the text, i gather that he was pretty distraught, maybe downright panicky. Dare I suggest even a little whiny? Anyway, God told him to go stand in front of the mountain, and he did.

A huge wind came up. I don't mean just a typical windstorm, I mean this wind was so big it caused landslides on the mountain! Elijah must have been standing there with boulders crashing down all around him, but he remained unharmed.

Then God caused an earthquake. So while all these boulders were falling all around Elijah, the earth was also splitting open. Can you imagine? What a terrifying moment, or hour, or day, this must have been! Yet Elijah remained where he stood, still unharmed.

Then God sent fire. Not only is Elijah standing there, shaking in his sandals while big rocks are hurling at him and smashing everything in their path and the ground is cracking wide open all around, now lightning strikes a tree somewhere in the area and smoke begins filling his lungs, ash stings his eyes and the roar of fire fills his ears.

And then, as the fire is dying down to an ember, the stones have come to a resting place, and the calamity seems to be easing into aftermath, a soft, gentle whisper asks the very same question: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"


Ever been there? I think I have. Only a few thousand times or so. This is like that perfect illustration of my life, I think. So many instances where I'm overwhelmed by my circumstances, and wondering how I'm going to get through it all, and I cry out to God saying "Hey look! Remember me, God? I need your help down here!" And he reminds me that He is in control. He shows me that as long as I'm obeying Him, I'm protected! Then He brings everything to a stand-still and whispers to me, "have I got your attention now?"

God doesn't want us to listen to our own fears, or to the world's threats, or even to the falling of rocks and the roaring of fire. He's not going to let us get devoured by all that stuff. He just wants us to stand still and focus on His voice.

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