“And he said, ‘Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.” (1 Kings 19:11-12)
The question the Lord asked Elijah was not a request for information, but a rebuke. Elijah was supposed to be in Israel. The Lord had not given him any further instructions, so he should have stayed there. Elijah responded with his complaint of self-pity, his reasons for leaving. In essence he told God that he felt as if He had deserted him though it was he who deserted the Lord. He turned from Him to look at circumstances with the eyes of weakness and fear not faith
The Lord appeared to Elijah in His glory in order to renew his faith by confirming that He is greater than all circumstances, that He is faithful even when all men are faithless. The mere approach of God’s presence produced major cataclysms which reveal His power and those resources at Elijah’s disposal, more powerful and devastating than the most powerful weapons of warfare man has ever devised. These things were designed to convince Elijah, and all of us that God is stronger than any man, than any circumstance.
But the Lord is in the still small voice. Here is the true power of God, that still small voice which cuts into the heart of every individual like a sword that can pierce even the stoniest heart and comfort the most despairing and depressed individual. It us the Lord Himself who comes in this word, for He is the word.
God doesn’t need to convince us with great spectacles. He does not convict us with tremendous miracles, visions, with huge choirs, professional music, orchestras, vibrant and enthusiastic choruses, animated preaching, showy productions. He overwhelms us with the stillness of His voice speaking in our hearts. It flares up like a bright flash that instantly illuminates the innermost core of our being. The Word reveals our sins even the deepest ones we like to hide. This word also reveals His great love for us. His word drives us to repent at His feet. This word He speaks again and again as often as we turn from him in despair or rebellion. We would be wise to always heed it.