A Still Small Voice

 After Elijah’s contest with the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel where fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and licked up the water (I Kgs. 18:38), Elijah slew them (v. 40). When King Ahab told Jezebel (who brought Baal worship to Israel). what Elijah had done, she threatened to kill him, so he ran to Beersheba where he left his servant and then went on into the wilderness and requested that he might die (I Kgs. 19:4). But an angel came and ministered to him, giving him food and water. He ate and drank and then lay down and rested . The angel later awakened him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” “He arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb (Sinai), the mountain of God” (vv. 7,8).  There he hid in a cave where God spoke to him, asking him what he was doing there, then told him to go and stand on the mountain before the LORD and the Lord passed by. There was a great wind that was literally breaking the rocks apart and then an earthquake, and then a fire, but the LORD was not in the wind or earthquake or the fire. Then came “a gentle blowing” (v. 12…KJV has “a still small voice”), and God spoke to Elijah, asking again, “What are you doing here Elijah?”  (v. 13).  Elijah gives a sad story of what had transpired and how he was the only one left that had not bowed his knee to Baal. God reminded him that there happened to be 7,000 others who had not bowed to Baal (v. 18). God is never without a witness and with God, I am never alone! God has always been in the remnant business. God told Elijah to return to the wilderness of Damascus and anoint Elisha as prophet in his place (v.16).

     We  often look for God in the “strong wind, the earthquake, and the fire,” but sometimes miss the “still small voice” when he speaks to us. Well yesterday we had the privilege of hearing a “still small voice.” We had a guest speaker at church who had just retired from his pastorate and came to visit our pastor and his wife since they had worked under him for a number of years. His vocal cords are paralyzed, so he can only whisper. Even with the amplification system you had to listen carefully to hear him, but it caused you to do so and what a powerful  message he preached on how God loves the prodigals of life and he challenged us to be a “prodigal-friendly church.”  God really spoke through his “still small voice!” 
     I was reminded of when we were living in Portland attending Montavilla Baptist and our pastor had gone back east for a pastor’s conference to hear a very well-known speaker. It turned out that the key-note speaker got sick and couldn’t be there. In his place was an elderly gentleman who spoke very quietly and our pastor said “You had to strain you ears to hear him.” But what a blessing and challenge our pastor and the others attending received. The man’s name was Dr. Walter T. Wilson, a medical doctor, that throughout his practice had led many, many souls to a saving knowledge of Christ and he shared a powerful message that greatly impacted all who heard him. God has no “substitutes.” Obviously it was His plan that Dr. Wilson speak to these pastors. And God often speaks in a “still small voice.”   It isn’t the charisma, or the eloquence, or the appearance of God’s servants, it is the Spirit-directed message that they share that impacts our hearts. And I think when it is the “still small voice” it makes us listen more carefully. I know that was the case with our pastor in Portland and it was the case for us yesterday.
     It also emphasizes to us that if we make ourselves available to God, no matter what our abilities or inabilities, and depend completely on Him, He will use us for His glory.  So often we’re like Moses when God appeared to him in the burning bush and asked him to go and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. At this point in Moses’ career, he had spent the last 40 years tending sheep in the desert, and felt he was totally inadequate for the task God was putting before him. He even argued with God (not a good idea!), saying, “I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past…for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Ex. 4:10), to which God replied: “Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say” (vv. 11,12).  How can you argue with that? Yet, note what Moses said in response: “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever Thou wilt” (v. 13). In other words, Moses said, “Send anyone but me!  You’ve got the wrong guy.”  I wonder how many times we have said a similar thing to God. Don’t forget that just as God promised Moses whatever He asks us to do He will enable us to do. He had already told Moses, “I have come down to deliver them” (Ex. 3:8). Moses obviously missed that, for he said to God, “Who am ‘I’, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that ‘I’ should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (3:11). 
     When God provides an open door of ministry for you, don’t forget that He will be with you and He will do it (as He promised Moses in Ex. 3:8,12)–even if all you have is a “still small voice.” 
                                 Forever His,
                                            Pastor Dave

About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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