Tag Archives: Old Testament

God’s still, small voice

I Kings 19:9-13:  “…and, behold, the word of the Lord came to [Elijah], and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?  And he said…the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.  And he said, Go forth [from this cave], and stand upon the mount before the Lord.  And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind:  and after the wind was an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:  And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire:  and after the fire a still, small voice.  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave.  And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

At this point Elijah repeats his story of the unfaithfulness of Israel and the plot on his life.  God then gives him instructions about where to go and what to do, and informs him that there is yet a remnant of seven thousand souls in Israel who are not worshippers of Baal.

There is very little I can add here that the receptive mind will not already perceive, but I do have one specific comment. 

This passage immediately puts me in mind of the basic fallacy behind the noisy, me-centered worship in many churches today.  Instead of treating God’s house with reverence and dignity and waiting quietly for His great Spirit to speak, many Christians today are treating church as merely another entertainment:  the music is loud and worldly (often with vague, self-centered lyrics about “feelings” instead of sound doctrine), the atmosphere grotesquely chatty and casual and geared toward creature-comforts (jeans and flip-flops and a latte bought in the lobby), and preaching which values showmanship over substance. 

How can anyone hear the still, small voice of God amid all this clatter?  Church should be a refuge from the busyness and confusion of the world, not an extension of it.  Besides, I think it is pretty clear from this passage that if there’s any great show of force to be made, it will be by God, not by us.  We can jump around and turn our amps up and wave our arms and  shout “Amen” till the cows come home, but it is merely a puny, self-pleasing display, lacking in both humility and reverence.

Christians, grow up and stop demanding to be entertained.  Listen for the still, small voice.


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Was the parting of the Red Sea the only time waters were parted in the Bible?


Joshua, who succeeded Moses as the leader of the Israelites, was told by God that He would part the waters of the Jordan River for the entrance of God’s people (and the ark of the covenant) into the land of Caanan. 

Joshua 3:15-17:  “…as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water…the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away…and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.  Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground…”  Joshua 4:9 adds, “Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenenat stood; and they are there to this day.”

The prophets Elijah and Elisha also parted the waters of the Jordan River. 

2 Kings 2:8:  “Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them [Elijah and Elisha] crossed over on dry ground.”  When they had crossed, Elisha, knowing that Elijah was about to be taken up to heaven, asked that a double portion of Elijah’s spirit be upon him from that time forth.  Elijah answered that if Elisha actually saw him being taken away, this would be granted; Elisha did see, and “…he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, ‘Where is the Lord God of Elijah?’  And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over” (2 Kings 2:14).

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