A Gentle Whisper

“and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”

1 Kings 19:12

When I read 1 Kings 19 I am reminded of an old television commercial that said, “if you want to capture someones attention, whisper.” Often times if you are going to hear a whisper you have to stop what you are doing and listen. Its hard to hear the whisper of God when you are running from Him. Has there ever been a time when you felt like God was distant and you are unable to hear His voice? If you have you are not alone. Most often when we get this sense that God is far away is in times of trouble when we want Him close. Maybe you are under attack or going through a trial where you feel all alone and need to know God is near. The prophet Elijah found himself in a similar situation. He had just defeated the four hundred and fifty false prophets of Baal and then ran for his life at the threat of one woman, King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel.  

Elijah ran because he was afraid, as fear has the ability to make even the strongest of men crumble. On Mount Carmel he was aware of the presence of God and it gave Elijah boldness and strength. When Jezebel threatened his life he was unaware that God was there. The Lord taught Elijah a valuable lesson that He is still teaching you and me today. God is always near, even when we can’t see or feel Him.

You see friend, we have this tendency to look for God in all the wrong places or maybe better put, we look for God in the places and in the ways we expect Him to be and work. When God doesn’t respond in the way we think He should in our lives it’s easy to feel sorry for one’s self and like Elijah go hide out in some dark cold place. F. B. Meyer, renowned Bible scholar, said that self-pity is the most grievous of all sins. Pastor emeritus, Jon Courson puts it this way, “Self-pity says to the Lord, “I don’t like what You’re doing in my life.” Self-pity is nothing more than rebellion, for if I feel sorry for myself, I am actually saying, “God, although Your Word says You are love, I don’t buy it. Although Your Word says You are good, I don’t believe it. Although Your Word says You are light, I don’t see it. Although the Word says You are my Father, I don’t relate to it.”

The good news of the Gospel is we have a Good shepherd in Jesus Christ who loves us and leaves the ninety-nine and comes looking for us just like He did Elijah. And when He found Elijah the Lord instructed him, “Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces 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 a still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12).

So the million dollar question is why didn’t God reveal Himself to Elijah in the strong wind or the earthquake or in the fire? Why did God choose a whisper to reveal Himself? For one, the wind, earthquake and fire are all impersonal and God wanted Elijah to know then what He wants you and I to know today. God is personal, He cares and He loves and He wants you to know today loved one the number one reason why He whispers is because He doesn’t need to yell as He is near, He is right there beside you.

“… I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

Matthew 28:20 (b)


Michael Osthimer




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