The Still Small Voice

God’s ‘Still Small Voice’ is a familiar passage of scripture.  It comes from 1 Kings, and it’s about Elijah.  Elijah had just done amazing things – defeated prophets of a false God, and even prophesied the end to a three-year long drought.

Shortly after, and perhaps a sign of his human-nature, Elijah was fleeing from Jezebel, because she wanted to kill him.  Furthermore, he asked God to take his life because it was all too much – he was staying in a cave in Mount Sinai, when in 1 Kings 19, God does something unexpected (NIV):

11 Then He 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 wasnot in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

15 Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria.16 Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. 18 Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

So why the quietness?  Well, first came the wind, earthquake and fire, and afterwards the quietness.  Was it this that caught Elijah’s attention and beckoned him out of the cave?  Either way, God gave him words instruction, and reassurance at just the right time – Elijah thought he was the only one left that hadn’t bowed the knee to Baal (a false God).  What a boost it must have been to receive news that he wasn’t on his own – 7000 others hadn’t!

The same applies to us today.  When things just get too much and we end up in our own proverbial cave, God knows what to do.  Sometimes it might be a miracle or a helping hand; others, simply being reassured and encouraged to keep going is what we need!