How quickly we lose hope and confidence in what we know of God – we forget what He had done in our lives, even just a short time before we forget. Elijah experienced this – he was able to go up to King Ahab and risk death by just being there with hundreds of people who were against him – and then Elijah became afraid just based on words of Jezebel, threatening to kill him. Just one person and just words. Real threat but just with words, lowercase “w”.
He ran, he hid, he slept. An angel came to him twice – to feed him and to wake him. Then he travelled 40 days and nights to hide again. He tried to be zealous for the Lord all the time – and yet even one of the greatest prophets needed more that just words of encouragement, Elijah needed and got the Word. The Word of God spoken into His life. That is our journey too – we are fed and we get woken. We are hungry even after being fed. We are waiting for God to speak His Word into our lives. And when we trust that Word to save us, then we are born again. What a time to come out of our caves and listen for the Word in a Whisper.
A real Word, namely the Word of God came to Elijah: “And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ ” – this probably certainly actually means that Jesus Himself came speaking to him – Jesus Lord, the Word, said: ‘What are you doing here? akin to ‘Where are you in your brain space? What in your life are fleeing? Where are you not trusting? Where do you need to remember me to strengthen your faith???’
Not only did the Lord appear to Elijah, He instructed him to go seek direction from Him even more – and to listen: The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
The Lord talked about the Lord – well, yes. The Word speaks about the Word, yes, all over the scriptures the Word IS the Word.. and then the Whisper? A Whisper of the Lord is even more powerful than earthquakes, the wind, and even the fire. The Whisper of the Word is still the Word.
And Elijah finds that even though he was “the only one left” – Who had NOT left WAS/IS the Lord. The Lord never leaves us either… And what did the Lord give Elijah? a direction – and a purpose – go call the next prophet, Elisha.
Direction, Purpose, Confirmation.
Let’s listen for the Whisper of the Word into our lives.
Jesus has something to say.
1 Kings 19
Elijah Flees to Horeb
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.
The Lord Appears to Elijah
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
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. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
The Call of Elisha
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.