Elijah heard God in silence
1 Kings 19: 9-16, 18
9 There he entered a cave and spent the night.
The word of the Lord came to him and said to him, “Why are you here, Elijah?
10 Elijah answered, “I have been very passionate about the Lord, the God of the heavenly forces, because the Israelites have forsaken your covenant. They have broken down your altars, and they have slain your prophets with the sword. I’m the only one left, and now they want to take my life too!
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand in the mountain before the Lord.” The LORD is passing by. A very strong wind tears the mountains apart and breaks the stones 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. 12 After the earthquake there was a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a noise. Thin. Calm. 13 When Elijah heard this, he wrapped his face in his cloak. He came out and stood at the entrance to the cave. A voice came to him and said, “Why are you here, Elijah?
14 He said, “I was very passionate about the Lord, the God of the heavenly forces, because the Israelites have forsaken your covenant. They have broken down your altars, and they have slain your prophets with the sword. I’m the only one left, and now they want to take my life too.
15 The Lord said to him, “Return through the wilderness to Damascus, and anoint Hazael king of Aram.” 16 Anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi also as king of Israel; and anointed Elisha of Abel-Meholah, the son of Shaphat, to succeed you as prophet… .18 embraced him.
Questions for reflection
After the events on Mount Carmel, Elijah may have expected God to always act loud and loud. But when we study the long history of God’s relationship with the human family, we realize that times like Mount Carmel tend to be “one-off” events. Yet God doesn’t just show Himself every now and then. God is always at work, especially in much more ordinary times when we may think God is absent or silent.
- Researcher John J. Bimson wrote: “The translations a soft whisper and ‘a quiet little voice’ (RSV) do not do full justice to the enigmatic Hebrew phrase, which can best be rendered ‘a brief sound of silence.’ The text… implies that God was finally passing in the silence that followed the storm… a vivid demonstration that God is not always at work in a visible and dramatic way. show, but in silence?
- “Be silent before the Lord and wait for him. Don’t get angry when someone gets ahead, someone who makes up evil plans ”(Psalm 37: 7). We often feel like praying to Psalm 83: 1: “God, don’t be silent! Don’t stand still and don’t stand still, my God. But we can learn from Elijah. In a short moment of silence, say an almost wordless prayer. Perhaps choose a word that names a quality of God or Jesus that you need (eg, compassion). Think quietly about this word. Then just thank God for being with you.
Lord, still the chatter and the turmoil of my mind and heart. Teach me to feel you in the quiet times, as well as the times when you make me want to stand up and cheer. Amen.
* John J. Bimson, comment on 1 Kings 19: 1-18 in The New Commentary on the Bible, Fourth Edition. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1994, p. 360.