When God Whispers – 1 Kings 19:9-15

GodWhispering“Then the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ … Then He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.’ At that moment, the Lord passed by…but the Lord was not in the wind…the Lord was not in the earthquake…the Lord was not in the fire… And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ ‘ … Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go and return by the way you came to the Wilderness of Damascus.'” (1 Kings 19:9-15, HCSB).

I have unpacked the verses in this passage to illustrate a lesson that God was trying to teach the prophet Elijah. But first a little background information is needed.

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The Thin Silence of God – 1 Kings 19:12-13

“And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” The emphasis on Mount Carmel where Elijah had battled the prophets of Baal had been on God’s spectacular ways. Now the emphasis on Mount Sinai, the mountain of God, is on God’s quiet ways. God was not to be found in the spectacular elements of the storm outside the cave: the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, but instead He spoke in a low whisper. The Hebrew is literally a thin silence. Listen closely because God speaks and reveals Himself in quietness, a whisper, a thin silence.