Applications from 1 Kings
If you read the last post, The Next Word from the Lord, please skip ahead to the application.
As we finished last time, Elijah was beginning a journey that would take him 40 days and 40 nights. He arrives at Horeb and finds a cave to stay in. Here God says to him, “What are you doing here?” Elijah replies with his resume and then informs God that his life is in danger and he feels he needs to hide out. God tells him to go stand out on the mountain. A strong wind, earthquake, and fire come by, but God isn’t in them. Then Elijah heard a still small voice, and God was in the stillness. So Elijah went out of the cave and met with the voice of God.
This final word, that comes in the form of a still small voice, simply asks again…”Why are you here?” The prophet is drained of his strength. He needs the God of the Stillness. Sure there is a lesson in the fire/wind/quake, but Elijah needs to be comforted, encouraged, and strengthened. God speaks to him in a still small voice for this purpose.
God asks the same question again to show Elijah the core of his problems. Yes, he is physically tired. Yes, his life has been threatened. But the core of the problem is that Elijah is in a place of feeling that nothing God will do or could do through him is enough. “We showed them God, but still some will not turn…” “These are a hopeless people and I might as well not even try…”
Elijah has a lack of faith in God as a result of the people’s actions. He isn’t blaming God, he is blaming the people. But, his doubt is saying God can’t or shouldn’t… God can, God will, but thankfully God is much more patient with wicked people than Elijah is (we are).
Even with Elijah, who of all people should remain in strong faith, God patiently deals in a still small voice. God is the God of the stillness and this is who Elijah needs now.
Did you notice how God communicated with Elijah? “…the Word of The Lord…” So it is with us, the God of the Stillness will speak to us through His Word.
Once in the stillness of the late midnight hour,
I felt the presence of the Lord’s saving power;
I fell on my knees, and cried to Him there,
Oh, merciful Savior, hear a lost sinner’s prayer.
Now every hour and every day,
In every moment, in every way;
I’m leaning on Jesus the rock of my soul,
I’m singing His praises wherever I go.
I’ll never forget that night on my knees,
The joy of that hour has never left me;
It’s life’s sweetest memory that time can’t erase,
I’m saved by His mercy, redeemed by His grace.
Pastor Chanc Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN
This blog post was adapted from a sermon preached at Harpeth Baptist Church in the summer of 2012.