Saturday, October 8, 2011
And after the fire came a gentle whisper(NIV) the sound of a low whisper(ESV) or after the fire a still small voice(NKJ);
God is great and powerful! This morning we woke to deep mighty thunder roll, after thunder roll - it was a powerful experience to lie tucked in bed and to listen quietly. It made me feel small as I prayed to my big God.
I thought of a recent statement I had heard - if one flash of lightening's electricity could be captured it could light a whole city for a whole year (I don't know if this is fact or guess work but the concept fascinated me.) It really struck me this morning that although this thunder is for us a demonstration of God's mighty power in our eyes - it is only a tiny pin prick of power for God in his whole universe. The lightening that He strikes here on earth is like a tiny flick of his fingers compared to the work He does and sustains in His universe.
A dear friend phoned to encourage me and read a Spurgeon devotion on 1 King 19:12. God can demonstrate to us His might with great ease and yet he comes to us with the most personal, tender and gentle whisper in our greatest time of need.
Do you remember how Elijah had had so many experiences of God's power before - how weary he was with his good work, how fearful of threats from evil ones...threats he had withstood before; how physically exhausted he felt...
but look at how God in His grace took care of Him so carefully in so many ways in his time of despair and great need. Isn't verse 12 so full of contrast and beauty as it shows us the best of God's tenderness that is so much part of His mighty powerful character!
(You can find some good Elijah sermons if you scroll down to 2011 family conference.See http://bbcq.org/sermons.php)
1 Kings 19(ESV)
Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8 And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.”
And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks 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. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire
the sound of a low whisper. 13 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?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.