1Kings 9: 9-18. Verses. 11-13 – The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
In my early days as a young believer the group of people I hung around with were the kind that always wanted something spectacular to happen, assuring them God was present with them. When I first read these verses, it gave me a new and lasting perspective of what to expect from God.
Wind, fire, and earthquakes were all recognized as signs of divine power and revelation in ancient times, so it makes sense that God chose to reveal himself in connection with those things. But God shows here that he is not in the wind, or the fire, or the earthquake itself. Instead, God speaks to Elijah in a gentle whisper. So, Elijah experiences the presence of God by means of a gentle, whispering voice in the midst of silence. And Elijah covers his face, knowing he is in the presence of almighty God.
I was so thankful that along with this group of friends I hung around with I also had mature, even keeled people who spoke quietly and confidently about the presence of Jesus in their lives while serving on the mission field and in everyday life. God shows just as powerfully that the Lord who speaks gently with a whisper is the same God who can tear mountains apart and break down evil. And when he asks, “What are you doing here?” he shows that he has plans to keep bringing his kingdom into this world, and he calls us to enter the work with him.
Our heavenly Father and our great God, keep working in our midst. Make your Holy Spirit powerfully present in our lives. Help us to keep listening carefully to your still small voice that we might be in step with what your plan is for us. Amen.