May 19, 2014
READ: 1 Kings 19:1-15
There was the sound of a gentle whisper (v.12).
Gordon Hempton is one of the world’s few acoustic ecologists. He travels the world recording what he calls “the last quiet places”,—places completely untouched by modern human sound. Hempton records remote locations on the other side of the world as well as nearby wonders, such as the sound of the tide washing over a piece of spruce driftwood in a national park. He describes silence not as the lack of noise (there is no such thing, the earth itself emits sound), but rather as presence (the capacity to be fully attentive to the space where you are).
The prophet Elijah had an unexpected encounter with God through silence. After God answered Elijah’s prayers via a stunning display on Mt. Carmel, raining fire from heaven and overwhelming Baal’s false prophets, Queen Jezebel was enraged and set out to kill the prophet. Weary and discouraged, Elijah fled into the desert, plopped down alone under a tree and begged God to kill him.
But God was not finished with Elijah. An angel led him to the top of Mt. Sinai, where God instructed him to “go out and stand before me on the mountain” (1 Kings 19:11). On the exposed mountaintop, Elijah waited. A “mighty windstorm hit the mountain”, and it seemed as though the rocks would crumble. Next, an earthquake and a fire occurred (v.12). These massive displays were in keeping with the way God had appeared at Mt. Carmel, as well as how God had appeared years earlier to Moses on Mt. Sinai. This time, however, God was not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire. Rather, God came to Elijah amid a “gentle whisper” (v.12).
God doesn’t come only in the quiet; He comes as He chooses to come! The call for us is to be watching and waiting—attentive to His voice. —Winn Collier
365-day plan› Proverbs 4:1-27
Read Job 42:1-5 and note how Job describes his interaction with God.
How have you encountered God’s bold actions or displays of power? Where have you encountered God’s quiet?