‘ A Still Small Voice ‘
‘.. and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire and after the fire a still small voice ‘(1 Kings 19:12 NKJV)
Mount Sinai and Mount Horeb are believed by many to be the same place and are linked in scripture to both Moses and Elijah. Mount Horeb is described as ‘the Mount of God ‘ (verse 8), and it becomes obvious in the narrative that it is to this special holy place that Elijah is running. He has spent forty panic-stricken days and nights running towards Mount Horeb, to get as far away from Jezebel as he could get, and to get in his own way of it as close to God as he thought he could get. Mount Horeb / Sinai had a special place to Israel, it was here that the people had seen the mountain smoke and thunder with the awesome presence of God (Exodus 19). It was here that God had given the ten commandments to Moses (Exodus 20).
Elijah was there as we saw yesterday because of a fear that had gripped his heart as a result of Jezebel’s threat. Lest we are too quick to criticise Elijah, let us remember that we too can very easily and very quickly fall prey to the same emotions as he did. All it takes is a comment, a phone call, a taunt, a threat to have us running, and indeed running away from God. There is only one antidote and that is the Word of God.
We read that Elijah spent a night in a cave, until the Word of God came to him again (verse 9), as at previous times but this time to ask him what He was doing there. Elijah pours out his complaints to the Lord (verse 10), but the only seeming reply he gets is to be told to leave his cave and stand on the mountain before the Lord (verse 11). In a very dramatic verse, we read how Elijah observes a strong wind, an earthquake and a fire. All things symbolic of God’s presence before, and especially here at Mount Horeb. It was in the thunder and the smoke on the mountain that the Children of Israel realised that God had drawn near to them. But we read in verse 12 each time that the Lord was not in these things. Then came “a still small voice”, and Elijah knew that God had drawn near.
The still small voice had a question for Elijah “What are you doing here Elijah ? ” the same question. We mustn’t think God will change the question, just because we avoid answering it the first time! This was the voice of God calling Elijah back, not maybe as he expected, but is it not often the case, that God does speak to us in unexpected ways? This voice was like the Regimental Sergeant Major calling a soldier who has gone AWOL back to attention again, but more much more than that, it is the voice of a loving Father calling out to a son of his once again.
The only remedy for our ills is the Word of God, and God’s word in the power of the Holy Spirit will do more in an instance than anything else ever could. It can do more than words which can destroy or spoil, it can bring life to the dead, healing to the sick, hope to the despairing, clarity in confusion. It is the Word alone that will silence the enemy.
It is the Word of God which is the name that Jesus had from the beginning – until the end. Only the voice of God could have lifted up Elijah’s head for a reason, so he would see as we will tomorrow that God has a purpose and plan in everything.