That Still Small Voice

That Still Small Voice
Elijah Runs Away
1 Kings 19

King Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how Elijah had killed all the prophets with a sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "May the gods punish me terribly if by this time tomorrow I don't kill you just as you killed those prophets."

When Elijah heard this, he was afraid and ran for his life, taking his servant with him. When they came to Beersheba in Judah, Elijah left his servant there. Then Elijah walked for a whole day into the desert. He sat down under a bush and asked to die. "I have had enough, Lord," he prayed. "Let me die. I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the tree and slept.

Suddenly an angel came to him and touched him. "Get up and eat," the angel said. Elijah saw near his head a loaf baked over coals and a jar of water, so he ate and drank. Then he went back to sleep.

Later the Lord's angel came to him a second time. The angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat. If you don't, the journey will be too hard for you." So Elijah got up and ate and drank. The food made him strong enough to walk for forty days and nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There Elijah went into a cave and stayed all night.

Then the Lord spoke his word to him: "Elijah! Why are you here?"

He answered, "Lord God All-Powerful, I have always served you as well as I could. But the people of Israel have broken their agreement with you, destroyed your altars, and killed your prophets with swords. I am the only prophet left, and now they are trying to kill me, too."

The Lord said to Elijah,

"Go, stand in front of me on the mountain, and I will pass by you."

Then a very strong wind blew until it caused the mountains to fall apart and large rocks to break in front of 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, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.

After the fire, there was a quiet, gentle sound. When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his coat and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave.

Then a voice said to him, "Elijah! Why are you here?"

He answered, "Lord God All-Powerful, I have always served you as well as I could. But the people of Israel have broken their agreement with you, destroyed your altars, and killed your prophets with swords. I am the only prophet left, and now they are trying to kill me, too."

The Lord said to him, "Go back on the road that leads to the desert around Damascus. Enter that city, and pour olive oil on Hazael to make him king over Aram. Then pour oil on Jehu son of Nimshi to make him king over Israel. Next, pour oil on Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to make him a prophet in your place. Jehu will kill anyone who escapes from Hazael's sword, and Elisha will kill anyone who escapes from Jehu's sword. I have seven thousand people left in Israel who have never bowed down before Baal and whose mouths have never kissed his idol."

So Elijah left that place and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field with a team of oxen. He owned twelve teams of oxen and was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah came up to Elisha, took off his coat, and put it on Elisha. Then Elisha left his oxen and ran to follow Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and my mother good-bye," Elisha said. "Then I will go with you."

Elijah answered, "Go back. It does not matter to me."

So Elisha went back and took his pair of oxen and killed them. He used their wooden yoke for a fire. Then he cooked the meat and gave it to the people. After they ate it, Elisha left and followed Elijah and became his helper.

Glenn H. Jackson

...."But know that the Lord has set apart
the godly man for Himself;
the Lord hears when I call to Him.
Tremble, and do not sin;
meditate in your heart upon your bed,
and be still.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
and trust in the Lord....
Thou hast put gladness in my heart....
in peace I will both lie down and sleep,
for Thou alone, O Lord,
dost make me to dwell in safety"....
Psalm 4:3-5, 7a, 8 NASB

What a joy it is to serve the Lord from a pure and obedient heart. What gladness fills the heart of all those who hearken diligently to the voice of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God before all else. Indeed, there are many times when our souls - even though they may be "renewed" to a great degree - have not quite captured the "fulness" of the revelation of God's will that has been revealed to our inner man [spirit] by the Holy Spirit.

It is at such times that the child of God must "relentlessly pursue" the carrying out of the instructions they have been given by God. For, in matters such as this, any "hesitation" or reluctance becomes the doorway to doubt and unbelief - which in turn will lead to certain disobedience.

When we are given a task to do we must, of course, first be certain that it lines up with the written Word of God and, in "knowing" that it does, we must be truly still before God with a sensitive heart - ever listening for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.

It is in this area of guidance where many believers depart from the "perfect" obedience that the Heavenly Father so desires of His children. For it is only continual fellowship with God that will bring us to the place where we can "hear" clearly the voice of our Good Shepherd above the noise and confusion and distractions of the world.

Therefore, as we abide in the Word of God [and He abides in us] our lives will enter into the "rest" and divine assurance that is the spontaneous by- product of a heart that abides in perfect obedience.

"Perfect" obedience - as defined by the wisdom of God - is a product of having both the "exact" knowledge of God's Word, through a "revelation" given by the Holy Spirit, and the wisdom and unction, that comes from hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, moment to moment.

This "abiding" wisdom then enables one to apply the "true" or "exact" knowledge they have had revealed to their hearts directly to the "circumstances" of the moment, thus keeping that child of God continually in the narrow path of perfect obedience - as they continually act upon the commands that they have been given.

The key to this prosperous life of obedience is the time one spends "ministering" to the Father and His Word - in stillness before Him in the "inner chamber". This allows Him to commune with them, and also impart the deepest desires [thoughts and intentions] of His tender and loving heart towards them.

One cannot enter into the presence of the Father in the "inner chamber" and not be spiritually strengthened for every task that is before them. It is in this place of intimate communion and fellowship that one is empowered to abide in a perfect obedience - there is NO other way.

These things that I have spoken of are the essence of the "true riches" and, indeed, it is certain that all else pales in comparison with abiding in the glorious presence of Almighty God!

Related Scriptures: Ephesians 1:17-23; Colossians 1:9-14; Romans 8:14; Proverbs 3:13-26; Psalm 91:1-16.

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