I’ve been asked to speak at LifeChurch in South Aurora on May 2. My topic? Ahab and Jezebel. In over 2o years of preaching, I think this will be the first sermon devoted entirely to Ahab and Jezebel.
In doing research into this odd couple, I came across the following encounter between God and Elijah. Jezebel has sent a death threat to Elijah and he takes her at her word — and runs for his life. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the response God had been hoping for. After letting Elijah gripe about being “the only righteous” person left, here’s what God says to Elijah:
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?” (1 Kings 19:11-13).
Though powerful displays in their own right, God is not found in the wind or the earthquake or the fire.
He is found in the gentle whisper of a caring Father. A Father who cares enough to ask, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” It’s the second time God has asked him this question. He’s been patient, allowing Elijah to rant about the lack of righteousness in Israel while he himself is hiding from Jezebel.
The presence of God found in a whisper.
A whisper intended only for Elijah.