Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“But [Elijah] himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again…
[And then, refreshed, he went to a cave and the Lord came to him and asked why he was there, and Elijah answered that the king and his wife Jezebel were after him to kill him].
Then [the Lord] said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.”
And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”
Fall continues to peek through in the temperatures, the changing leaves, and now in Christmas decorations being displayed in store after store. Veterans Day has just passed where we paused to remember those brave and sacrificial patriots upon whose shoulders we stand today—in freedom. And in the aftermath of recent elections, there is an excitement of hope in many hearts as the future of our nation and world takes on a new direction.
It has happened before.
Elijah lived in a time of gathering storm clouds in one of Israel’s darkest hours of separation from, and sin toward God. The worship of Baal (false gods) was a regular occurrence and was often accompanied by drunken orgies and degrading rituals. Into that pit of moral degradation, Elijah brought a passion and commitment pointing the people back to the hope of their God who stood ready to shine a light on their lives.
King Ahab, his wife Jezebel and the leaders of the day had had enough of Elijah and his call back to God, and so they set about to have him killed. When Elijah got wind of the plot, he took off in rapid escape and found himself under a broom tree in the wilderness. Depressed, not knowing which way to turn, he despaired and—
“And he prayed that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!’”
And God’s response?
He sent an Angel to care for Elijah, to comfort and encourage him. An Angel who brought him water and food, and to stay with him until he was renewed and restored. To direct him onto the right path. And Angel who brought hope and the reminder that God was still there.
But he knew that he was still being hunted, and so he went to find God. He wanted to talk to him and know why he was still being hunted, despite raising hope among God’s children.
And God’s response—He came. And He came in a still small voice. Or as other translations suggest, He came to Elijah in a gentle whisper, a soft whisper, the sound of a gentle blowing, a gentle and quiet whisper, or a low whisper. His response is always calm, providing peace.
God didn’t show himself in the great and powerful wind that tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks. He wasn’t in the earthquake which came after the wind. He wasn’t in the fire which followed. He wasn’t in any of that. But instead He was in a still small voice.
So where do we look for that still small voice of God when we feel like Elijah and need reassurance that we are on the right track, when others seem to doubt?
We look to God.
We’ll be buffeted by the world, as I’ll bet we’ve all heard the winds of dissension, objection and criticism, or looked within the earthquakes of broken relationships or tragedy in all of our lives, or have been burned by the fires of doubt which follow us like heat-seeking missiles? Those are the voices of the world.
God sees us and stands with us in those difficult moments; but His voice of calm guidance and hope, comes quietly to us in the voices of those we trust, in those who don’t care about our station in life, or how much money we have, or of how many homes we own. We’ve all listened to the voices of doubt and criticism which are ever ready to knock us off track from becoming all that God intends for us to be—but God doesn’t speak to us in a voice of doubt or criticism.
That’s not where we find that still small voice of God.
Instead, we’ll find His voice of assurance, direction and peace in the quiet of our thoughts with Him as we study His Word and offer prayers of concern and requests for guidance. We’ll find it in the encouraging voices of loved ones and trusted friends—never far away and always ready to pick us up when we’re down.
In the aftermath of elections or whatever we go through and will go through in life, and on days like that a few days ago when we paused to remember our honored Veterans and those who paid the ultimate price for us and this great nation—the still small voice of God remains. Hope reigns.
With God, it’s there, always—just believe.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.