Reading the Word
1 Kings 19:9–18 (ESV)
9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 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?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
Understanding and Applying the Word
Elijah thought he was the only one left. He thought he was the only one who still followed God in his day and that all hope was lost. But God had a lesson for Elijah. God had Elijah stand on the mountain. As he stood there, several things took place. There was a great and powerful wind that came along. Then there was an earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a fire. Surely, God’s presence was in those awesome displays of power! But “the Lord was not in” the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. Instead, there came the sound of a low whisper, or a “thin silence” in some translations. God was in the silence. And as God spoke to Elijah from the silence, he assured him that he was not alone. There were seven thousand others who had not bowed the knee to Baal.
As we go through our lives, we may often wonder where God is or what he is doing. Is he doing anything? But we can be assured that God is at work even when we cannot see it. God is working in the silence. We can also be assured that, even though we may feel alone in the battle, God has a people and he is using them for his glory. We are not alone. If you feel alone and wonder if God is doing anything in your situation, know he is there in the silence and know that you are not alone. There are many of us who serve the Lord.
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