“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 wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 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 19:11b-12)
We should all be able to identify with the prophet Elijah. Even though the Lord used him to perform many mighty miracles, he was a man just like us, subject to doubt, fear and weakness. After his triumph on Mount Carmel against the wicked prophets of Baal, wicked Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him and so he ran off. But he ran right into the arms of the Lord out in the wilderness. The Lord comforted and renewed with a vision of His glory and gave him a blueprint for ministry. He could take comfort in the fact that while the Lord was using him he would be invincible.
Out in the wilderness he met with God. The mere approach of God’s presence produced major cataclysms: hurricane force winds, a massive earthquake, and intense fire. These revealed the power of the Lord, more powerful, more devastating than the most powerful weapons of warfare that man has ever devised. These things would convince any of us that God is certainly stronger than any man, than any circumstance. But there was a greater power yet in the gentle whisper of the Lord. He called out to Elijah in a still small voice, a gentle whisper that would make our hair stand on end, our knees shake, our hands tremble.
The Word of God is His true power, more powerful than earthquakes and great signs, the most powerful force on earth. That still small voice speaks the word that cuts into the heart of every individual like a sword. The word can pierce even the stoniest heart and comfort the most despairing, the most depressed individual.
God doesn’t need to convince us with great spectacles. He does not convict us with tremendous miracles, visions, huge choirs, grandiose music, orchestras, vibrant and enthusiastic choruses, animated preaching, and ostentatious productions. He overwhelms us with the stillness of His voice speaking in our hearts. That Word flares up in our hearts like a bright flash that instantly illuminates the innermost core of our being. The Word reveals God, His truth, His holiness. The word reveals our sins even the deepest ones we like to hide, those feelings we want to cover up. Nothing is hidden from Him. This word reveals His great love for us. Without God’s love and mercy we would be too afraid to go to Him. But His word of love even in rebuke drives us to repent at His feet and receive His mercy as happened to Elijah.