ELIJAH #18

05/10/21

Elijah is standing on Mt Horeb waiting fir the Lord to pass by.

1 Kings 19:11b  Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.” 

The Lord often uses THE WIND to make us aware of His presence.  Wind is translated “breath” or spirit.  In the Bible, the wind often represents the life-giving breath of the Lord.  The wind often represents the presence and the working of the Holy Spirit in a situation.  When the Israelites stood at the edge of the Red Sea and the entire army of Egypt coming to take them back into slavery, a great and powerful wind tore the waters of the Red Sea apart so the Israelites could go across on dry ground.  A great and powerful wind filled the upper room on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-2 )  

 But this time is not like the other times because, this time, “the Lord was not in the wind.”  When we’re looking for God, when we’re trying to determine who God is and where God is, we can’t rely on the wind.  We can’t be distracted by the wind.   There appears to be a lot of wind blowing in churches today, a lot of singing, shouting, laughing and dancing going on for hours in churches today, but the Lord may not be in any of it.  He may be.  He may be in all of it.  So, we’ve got to be careful not to be too critical of it or too quick to dismiss it because we don’t like it, don’t agree with it or may even be afraid of it. 

The Holy Spirit is still working, the wind is still blowing in His church today just as powerfully as it was on the day the Church began.  But let’s not make the mistake of thinking that the Lord must be in a certain place because it’s so windy and He must not be where we are because the wind is hardly blowing at all.  We can’t determine, we can’t judge the presence or the absence of the Lord solely by the amount of wind that seems to be blowing.  It may seem windy, but the Lord might not be in it.  It may just be a lot of hot air.  

1 Kings 19:11c   After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.”

 Earthquakes in the Bible are often used to demonstrate the awesome power of God; earthquakes that occur to advance the Gospel.  In Acts  4, the disciples prayed that the Lord would protect them from a hostile world as they attempted to preach the word of God.

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. Nd they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:31)

 When Paul and Silas were thrown into a prison cell in Philippi, the foundation of that prison was shaken by a massive earthquake. (Acts 16:26)  The prison doors flew open and the prisoners’ chains fell off.  The Philippian jailor fell down at Paul’s feet and asked, “What must I do to be saved?” 

Earthquakes reveal that the Lord is definitely in charge of that particular situation.  But, this time is not like the other times because this time, “the Lord was not in the earthquake.”   When we’re trying to determine if the Lord is involved in something, we can’t let ourselves become distracted by the earthquakes.  We can’t depend on and we can’t draw any conclusions from an earthquake.  We can’t keep looking for signs and wonders.

 We may want the Lord to come and shake things up. In fact, we may be fervently praying for the Lord to come and shake things up because we believe things badly need to be shaken.  We may be getting discouraged because the Lord is not shaking things up and things seem to be getting worse instead of better.  But the Lord is so much more than an earthquake.  He may be in the earthquake, but we can’t assume He is and we can’t make the mistake of thinking that’s all He is.  

1 Kings 19:12a   “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.”

Fire is evidence of the sovereignty of God.  Our God is a consuming fire. (Deut. 4:24)  He’s like a refiner’s fire. (Mal. 3:2) Like gold, believers are cleansed and purified by fire.  (Is 48:10)

Someday, the earth will be destroyed by fire.  Unrepentant sinners will be judged and thrown into a lake of fire.  A believer’s good works will be tested by fire.  We are called to endure many fiery trials.  Fire says a lot about the sovereignty of God who will have the last word on sin and death. 

But this time is not like the other times because, this time, “the Lord was not in the fire.”  We can’t let ourselves become distracted by the fire.  We can’t determine the presence or the absence of the Lord solely by the fire.  We can’t keep telling ourselves that the Lord must be punishing us or blessing us through the things that are happening to us.  We’re not suffering because we’ve done something wrong and we’re not being blessed because we’re doing things right.  The Lord is so much more than the fire.  The Lord may be in the fire.  He may or may not be blessing us.  

1 Kings 19:12b   “And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

“a gentile whisper,” the absolute truth of God’s word.  We can’t rely on outward appearances, on what things look like to us.  We can’t draw conclusions or form opinions based on what we think we see.  Instead of looking for what the Lord is doing, we need to be hearing what the Lord is saying. The way to a believer’s heart is through his ears. We’ll never recognize anything the Lord is doing unless we’re reading the Bible. 

God’s word comes to us as a gentle whisper.  His voice is calm.  His voice is soft.  His voice is subtle.  We’ll never be able to hear it unless we’re listening for it.  The Lord won’t speak while we’re talking and the Lord won’t answer while we’re whining.  We walk by faith and not by sight.  The Lord is asking for our trust.  He may not always be in the wind.  He may not always be in the earthquake or the fire, but the Lord will always be in His word.

 We need to find God in what we hear and not in what we see.  The Bible doesn’t tell us what that gentle whisper said to Elijah.  It was a very special moment between Elijah and the Lord.  It was exactly what Elijah needed to hear.  Whatever it was, whatever God said, whatever Elijah heard…

Lord willing, I’ll meet you back here next Tuesday. Thanks for being in God’s word with pastor Buj.

Published by pastorbuj

I have over forty-five years of pastoral experience serving churches in Rhode Island, New York State and California. After retirement, I wrote and published a book titled, "Why Did He Bother? A Pastor's Account of God's Abundant Mercy, Love, and Grace." It is available as a paperback, e-book and audible from Amazon.com. My newest venture is a Bible teaching blog site called "pastorbuj.wordpress.com"

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