Courtland-Oakland United Methodist Church

A Message for You

May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

God of Gentle Whispers by REV. ROBERT ECKERT Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church “…the Lord wasn’t in the wind… the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake… the Lord wasn’t in the fire… After the fire, there was a sound. Thin. Quiet,” from 1 Kings 19:11-12, Common English Version. Hebrew scripture tells the story of a prophet named Elijah, a man who zealously advocated on behalf of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at a time in the history of ancient Israel when its king and queen, Ahab and Jezebel, zealously advocated on behalf of the idol-god Baal. More than different perspectives on the mysteries of life, this was a struggle for the hearts and minds of the people of Israel, a conflict of ideologies that turned violent with Ahab and Jezebel killing prophets of God and Elijah killing prophets of Baal. When Elijah feared that the next clash with the king and queen would be the one that would cost him his life, he ran into the desert to hide and eventually holed up in a cave on Mt. Horeb, described in the story as “God’s mountain.” While in the cave Elijah heard a voice that he identified as God asking, “Why are you here?” as in, “What the heck are you doing here?” Elijah reminded God of his passionate service on God’s behalf, then summarized the current status of the campaign: “They have torn down your altars, and they have murdered your prophets with the sword. I’m the only one left, and now they want to take my life too!” The voice told Elijah to go out of the cave and stand on the mountain, “The Lord is passing by.” Elijah must have felt that he’d gone from the frying pan into the fire. It wasn’t enough that Ahab and Jezebel wanted him dead, now he had to answer directly to God. He was frightened, ashamed, alone, and likely expecting the worst. And he got it—a strong wind blew that tore apart rocks—God must have really been angry, but wait, “the Lord wasn’t in the wind.” Then an earthquake and then a fire, but the Lord wasn’t in either of those. Finally after all the pyrotechnics, “a sound. Thin. Quiet.” Some translations say “a still, […]