1 Kings 19:13 – 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?”
God speaks in multiple ways throughout Scripture and, in this part of Elijah’s story, his dependance on God helps him discern how God is truly speaking to him.
Something like a hurricane came, but God was not in it. At other times, God was in the wind (Genesis 8:1; Exodus 10:13, 14:22; Hosea 13:15; John 3:8), but not this time. God had revealed Himself to Elijah previously in the “wind” (1 Kings 18:45), but this encounter with God would be fresh.
Then, an earthquake came, but God was not in it. At other times, God was revealed in the earthquake (Exodus 19:18; Numbers 16:31-33; 1 Samuel 14:15; Matthew 27:51-54; Acts 16:26), but not this time. Perhaps God had revealed Himself to Elijah previously if the ground shook when the fire that consumed the offering on Mount Carmel, coming with such lightning-like force that even the stones were utterly destroyed (1 Kings 18:38), or if the ground shook when pounded by the “great rain” (1 Kings 18:45), but this encounter with God would be different.
Next, a fire came, but God was not in it. At other times, God was revealed in the fire (Genesis 19:24; Exodus 3:2-3, 13:22; Leviticus 9:24-10:2; Deuteronomy 4:24; Acts 2:3-4), but not this time. God had revealed Himself to Elijah previously in “the fire of the Lord” (1 Kings 18:38), but this encounter with God would be different.
Lastly, there was “a low whisper”. God came this time not boldly, but humbly. Not powerfully, but gently. Not in a big way, but in a little way. Many years later, God would come as the baby boy Jesus Christ, who was humble, gentle, and little.
God has a way of surprising us when He reveals His presence. Elijah was immediately aware of God’s presence in the “low whisper” and “when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak”. The scene is reminiscent of the angels who minister in the presence of the Lord Jesus in the unseen realm, declaring His praises all day, “the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew” (Isaiah 6:2; cf. John 12:41).
Perhaps God is still speaking, and few are listening. We get so busy talking and fill our lives with so much noise and nonsense, largely due to technology, that if God did whisper to us, we would not hear Him.
How are you at getting times of silence to clear your mind and hear from God? What are some possible bad habits that have hindered this pursuit of silence?
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