Daily D – 1 Kings 19:11-13
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 KINGS 19:11-13 (NLT)
“If you want to capture someone’s attention, whisper.”
Nuance perfume ran a commercial with those words in 1980. It is true, if you want to get someone’s attention, a whisper will do it. A few minutes into a movie at a theater that only charged a buck to enter, my bride leaned over and whispered, “This movie is terrible. I want to leave.” That will get your attention.
The movie was made worse by the child who sat behind her and kicked her seat nonstop. Every minute or so his mother would whisper, “Stop.” He did not. Whispers apparently work more effectively on adults than children.
A little boy was behaving appropriately for his age sitting in church. He could not sit still. His uncomfortable shoes made nice clunking sounds when he kicked the pews. His mother worked hard to keep him still and quiet while appearing composed and attentive. When her patience and pretense ran out, she leaned over and whispered, “If you do not sit down, be still, and keep quiet, I am going to beat you!”
Children become megaphones at the most inappropriate moments. The little boy shouted, “You’re going to beat me!”
The poor mom could do nothing but pick up her son and step lively toward the back door. She was prepared to tan his hide until she noticed his dress shirt had come untucked from his pants and his Mickey Mouse underwear poked out of his slacks. She laughed and relaxed. And her son ran freely down the ramp and on to his father’s office where his dad, the preacher, would converse with him regarding his behavior after everyone else was gone.
God put on quite a display for Elijah. He put on a display the whole nation of Israel would remember forever on Mount Carmel as recorded in the previous chapter of this book. Then fire fell from heaven and a three-year drought was broken. In this instance, there was a mighty windstorm, an earthquake, and a fiery blaze. God is almighty. God is powerful. God can do anything. But when he wanted to capture Elijah’s attention, he whispered.
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”
You have doubts, fears, worries, and concerns which rise up and fill your life with anxiety or dread. They are often most intense when you lie down to sleep. They shout and keep you awake. They feel like windstorms, earthquakes, and blazing flames. God still whispers. We can focus on the shouts, or we can answer the whisper.
Our Father in heaven asks gentle questions which draw us into the provision of his mercy and grace. Those questions help us regain our focus. They help us see things from his perspective. They help us plot a new course.
Elijah thought his life was over. He was turning in his resignation. He felt like a dead man walking. Yet most of what we know about him takes place after he heard the whisper, laid bare his feelings, and left the cave. He tried to place a period where God placed a comma.
When it feels like life is over, when you feel like you have no hope, when you have no strength to carry on, listen for the whisper. Everyone and everything shouts these days. God still whispers. You have to lean in to hear a whisper. You have to listen to understand. Everything changes when God whispers.
Lean in. Listen closely. Respond appropriately. This is no dead end. This is a turning point.
I will listen for God’s whisper.
Our Father, please give me ears to hear what you are saying to me. Give me a willing and obedient heart to do what you say. Lead me out of the mess I am in into the preferred future only you could craft. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.