by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
1 Kings 19:11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake 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 a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave.
The prophet Elijah, through his dramatic demonstration of the LORD's authority and power, inspired repentance in the people of Israel, calling them to exercise His judgment on idolaters by slaying 450 prophets of Ba'al and 400 prophets of Asherah on Mount Carmel. Yet this spiritual victory was followed by a severe demonic reprisal through the woman Jezebel. Her words so terrified Elijah that he literally ran for his life. The conflicts in the spirit realm are truly awesome. The moment of Elijah's greatest victory became the very context for his greatest temptation, as he was devastated, discouraged and depressed to the point of hopeless despair by Jezebel's vengeful threat to kill him.
But the Lord had not abandoned His man. In the midst of Elijah's flight YHVH sent His angel to feed and encourage the prophet for his forty day journey from Beersheva to Mount Horeb, where he undoubtedly expected protection at the mountain where Moses had first encountered YHVH.
Completely alone, Elijah takes refuge in a cave, where the Lord finds him and initiates a conversation which seems almost casual; "What are you doing here, Elijah?" The prophet begins to pour his heart out, complaining about his isolated desperate condition. God's reply is another dramatic demonstration, but this one is different and personally tailored for Elijah's discouragement. Whirlwind, earthquake, and fire are all devoid of His Presence. ….but there, in a still small voice, the prophet hears His Lord…
Perhaps unrepentant sinners and backslidden believers require dramatic demonstrations, catastrophes and devastating judgments to awaken their attention to God's presence and will. But we who love Him are invited to a more intimate relationship; one which takes place in privacy and quiet listening. This weekend could be a good time to renew yours…
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